Editor’s Note: Expedition Blue Planet, led by Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter Alexandra Cousteau, is traveling 14,500 miles of road over 138 days to investigate and film some of North America’s most pressing water use and management stories. Each week, expedition members will file a dispatch from the field for Scientific American until the expedition concludes on November 12 in Washington D.C. This is their first blog post for Scientific American.
“Absurd doesn’t even do justice to the ridiculousness of what the coal industry’s allowed to do to our drinking water,” Dave Merryman, Catawba Riverkeeper from Charlotte, tells me at a water-themed street fair that Expedition Blue Planet co-hosted at Central Piedmont Community College, in Charlotte, N.C., last week. He and other locals are fighting to prevent another Kingston coal ash spill from happening on their turf. At the water street fair, he’s busy recruiting people to testify at the hearing to bolster the case against coal-ash.