Maryland Water Walk: Kim and Aeryn walking 313 miles of MD waterways to support fracking ban

Hi, we’re Kim and Aeryn.

We are walking 313 miles along Maryland’s waterways to celebrate and protect our water by supporting the statewide fracking ban. Throughout our walking performance we will meet people and communities face to face to discuss the dangers of fracking. We are planning 5-7 major stops, where we will host or participate in creative community events.

Do you know what fracking is?

Fracking, slang for hydraulic fracturing, is the process of injecting millions of gallons of water, carcinogenic chemicals, and manufactured sand into the ground to fracture the shale basin and release gas.

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CONCERNS

Some of our concerns, based on hundreds of studies showing the negative impacts of fracking on human health and the environment, include but are not limited to:

• Contamination of groundwater

• Methane pollution and its impact on climate change

• Air pollution impacts

• Exposure to toxic chemicals

• Blowouts due to gas explosion

• Waste disposal

• Large volume water use in water-deficient regions

• Fracking-induced earthquakes

• Workplace safety

• Infrastructure degradation

• Socio-Economic Impacts

THE WALK

We start our walk in Oakland, Maryland at the Autumn Glory Festival October 15th. (Watch this video to learn the five songs we will be singing at the parade! And let us know you’re coming by visiting our event page). Kim will be dressed as “Spring Water” and Aeryn will be dressed as “Fracking Brine” during the Autumn Glory festival.

From Garrett and Allegheny counties we will walk areas at high risk for fracking in Maryland. Through the Appalachian mountains, downstream beside the rivers, we move towards the Dominion owned compressor station in Myersville. The gas brought here is being compressed and shipped through pipelines to fracked gas power plants, like the ones being proposed in Brandywine, Maryland.

This is the scenic Youghiogheny Overlook into Garrett County from West Virginia. The lightning bolts note where possible fracking wells and compressor stations could be installed if fracking is legalized in Maryland. The Youghiogheny river runs through the town of Friendsville, where Kim lives on her farm.

This is the scenic Youghiogheny Overlook into Garrett County from West Virginia. The lightning bolts note where possible fracking wells and compressor stations could be installed if fracking is legalized in Maryland. The Youghiogheny river runs through the town of Friendsville, where Kim lives on her farm.

We will complete our walk by the western shore of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay at Cove Point where Dominion is building a $3.8 billion dollar liquid natural gas (LNG) refinery and export facility to process, sell and ship American gas out of the country. With no Quantitative Risk Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement from Dominion, this facility poses serious risks to the safety, health, and quality of life of Southern Marylanders. Dominion Cove Point LNG sits in a residential neighborhood next to a community of over 20,000 people in Lusby, Maryland. This will be the first LNG facility in the US to be sited in such a densely populated residential community. The Dominion LNG export terminal is only three miles down the coast from the Exelon nuclear powerplant and fifty miles from the White House. (Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community).

Aerial of Dominion LNG export terminal. Existing emergency response and evacuation plans are inadequate and unrealistic. Dominion recently admitted for the first time that potential emergencies include uncontrolled leaks, fires, storm damage, gas pipeline ruptures, or a "hostile action or terrorist event", and that these could force evacuations. The current evacuation, addressing only a one mile radius, sends residents down narrow, winding, and two lane streets.

Aerial of Dominion LNG export terminal. Existing emergency response and evacuation plans are inadequate and unrealistic. Dominion recently admitted for the first time that potential emergencies include uncontrolled leaks, fires, storm damage, gas pipeline ruptures, or a “hostile action or terrorist event”, and that these could force evacuations. The current evacuation, addressing only a one mile radius, sends residents down narrow, winding, and two lane streets.

Dominion hopes to get the facility operating at the end of 2017. Planned on site storage includes 410,000 gallons of propane, 14.6 billion cubic feet of liquid natural gas, and other toxic and potentially explosive chemicals including ethane and benzene. This terminal borders residental neighborhoods, Cove Point Park, and Calvert Cliffs State Park.

SOLUTIONS ON THE WATERWALK

We are planning Permaculture plantings, musical performances, and hosting discussions around sustainable solutions like carbon sequestering in the soil. Along our route will be fun happenings like ‘Chalk the Water Walk’ during which we ask businesses and homeowners to decorate their front sidewalks, a pumpkin light vigil, a new moon water ceremony, and more creative gatherings! (Stay connected with us through our Facebook page to see confirmed dates and locations for events).
You can support us by hosting or joining in on an event along our route, donating food, money, or a place to sleep, joining us on the trail, and most importantly signing up your business or nonprofit with the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition.

WATER WALK DATES AND LOCATIONS

Oct 15 Oakland
Oct 16-18 Frostburg
Oct 20 Cumberland
Oct 26-27 Hagerstown
Oct 29-31 Frederick/Myersville

EDITORS NOTE: Water Walk at the Frederick City Market (Sunday, October 30 at 9:00am)

Nov 6-7 Montgomery County
Nov 9 Washington DC/College Park
Nov 11 Brandywine
Nov 14 Cove Point

Learn more about what we’re up to and how you can join in on our Facebook page.

GENERAL COST

• $150/2 pairs of boots ($300)
• $30/day food ($900)
• $10/day travel reimbursment ($300)
• $300 costume materials
• $300 space rentals and event supplies
• GoFundMe percentage fee

Any funds not used at the end of the walk will be donated to nonprofit organizations within the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition and/or toward a Spring 2017 Water Walk Maryland.

The money for this walk will be used for our basic needs like food, cost for places to sleep, and ride reimbursment to our support drivers who will help us travel to and from events. We also need some help to cover gear expenses (including new hiking boots) and supplies for our events. We will wear elaborate costumes to draw attention to issues at each of our major stops.

We need funds for event costs, costumes, and hiking boots (to break them in) as quickly as possible so that we have our outfits and events put together before the walk begins. Funds for food and travel reimbursement is needed by October 15th when we start walking.

OUR GRATITUDE TO YOU

We are eternally grateful for your help to secure a successful perfomance across Maryland’s waterways. You will be contributing to the health and vitality of our waterways and communities by supporting a state wide ban on fracking. Your help financially, showing up at events or on the trail, contacting legislators and Governor Hogan, registering with the Don’t Frack Maryland Coalition, sharing the message online or in your daily life, and your powerful intention that Maryland IS banning fracking is incredibly appreciated and needed. Thank you.

We are honored to have the opportunity to bring this message to Governor Larry Hogan. Supporting this walk will unite the communities of Maryland while sending Governor Hogan and all our legislators a powerful message that we don’t want fracking in anyone’s backyard, that people matter more than profits and industrial greed. It is the responsibility of our elected officials to take care of the communities they serve and our responsibility to elect officials with integrity for our community and the Earth.

WHY THIS MEANS SO MUCH TO US

Kim Alexander

“This Water Walk is important to me because my farm is located in western Maryland where mineral rights have been sold and leased to the Oil and Gas Industry. I am afraid of the biological degradation hydraulic fracturing poses on the soil, water, and our health while I am trying to practice sustainable agriculture to sequester carbon and reverse the effects of climate change. As a second year farmer, a lot of my energy (both physical and emotional) has gone to protecting Marylander’s (animals and plants) from the hazards of fracking.”

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Aeryn Boyd

“This Water Walk means so much to me because it is an opportunity for all of us to become informed, active stewards of our community and for Mother Earth. We need to understand what the current relationships are between individual communities, big business, the environment, and our government. Together, we can utilize this knowledge and unite our individual and collective power towards the transition into sustainable technology and healthy land based practices.”

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Walking the waterways to find a better way; ban fracking now!

Below are links to studies, articles, maps, videos and documentaries that have been published on the dangers of fracking:

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Green states are states with conventional or unconventional (fracked) gas wells. There are only 15 states in the country without any wells. In Accident, Md. conventionally drilled gas wells were in used in the 50’s and are now used as a natural gas storage facility.

Fracking wells near older gas wells can cause explosions in the older wells from the pressure of the fracking process in the ground. (This type of explosion is show in one of the videos below.)

More Resources and Information

Environment America
Banning Fracking is the Only Rational Option
American Journal of Public Health
Fracking and Water Pollution
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Fracking Pregnancy Risks Study by JHU
How to Let Go of the World and Love Everything Climate Can’t Change
Maps of fracking wells, reported violations, and earthquakes state by state
Fracking’s Future in Maryland: Will Health Risks Outweigh Benefits?
Study: Unconventional Natural Gas Wells Associated With Migraine, Fatigue, Chronic Nasal and Sinus Symptoms
The problem with natural gas: methane emissions
Fracking produces tons of radioactive waste. What should we do with it?

*The sounds and smells of fracking. The woman in the video lives 3,000 feet from the fracking well site past her backyard.

*Fracking waste water tank explosion. Fracking creates millions of gallons of toxic waste water, mixed with a plethora of carcinogenic and flammable chemicals.

*Fracking wells near older gas wells can cause explosions in the older wells from the pressure of the fracking process in the ground. Accident, Maryland would be at risk of this type of explosion if fracking came to our state.

Help spread the word!


This was originally posted as content on Kim and Aeryn’s “GO FUND ME” page. Click this link to make a donation in support of their walk and related events.

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