Well, if you’re reading this it’s because you’re a smart, caring, and responsible individual. I’m here sitting at my desk listening to Slayer and being creative. On my run this afternoon I managed to shut out the pain, shame, and sorrow of my slow pace by thinking about what to say in this blog post and our partnership with the Tennessee Clean Water Network and Syndicate Fly Fishing.
I got to thinking about my time living in California and how I used to drive by a Billboard on Interstate 50 on my way to Folsom (Yes, the same Folsom made famous by Johnny Cash), that reminded me of all the bleary-eyed California commuters fleeing the city: “If beer is 95% water, that water better be 100% awesome.” Now, these were the days before Ron Burgundy and Sex Panther Cologne, so it made total sense then, too. In case you forgot, here is a quick link and 1:59 brain break.
Back to reality — hey, pay attention kiddos! Let’s get real for a minute: water is kind of important, man. Without it we can’t live, so as my wife says, “Hey, Jeremy, you should probably drink some water!” We’re not just talking any water; we’re talking clean water. Clean water and clean waterways are a vital part of why our beer is so tasty. The water in Washington County is low in mineral content which is one reason our Dunkel and Pilsner are so darn good. The water is clean and safe thanks to the folks at Tennessee Clean Water Network. We get our water from mountain streams too, ya know! Without clean water there isn’t a brewery in the world that can make good beer. And what better reason to protect our waterways than to make sure we have beer right? Ok, I know. There are a lot more reasons to have clean water so don’t hate on me. I’m trying to be funny here. In all seriousness though, without clean water, we are all doomed.
Let’s put things into perspective. There are 60,394 stream miles, 55 watersheds, 572,063 lake acres, and 787,000 acres of wetland in our great state. So that is why we’ve partnered with two local East Tennessee organizations, along with local business partners, to promote and bring awareness to protecting our local and regional watersheds. Did you know Tennessee Clean Water Network is a local 501(c3) that works to:
“Empower Tennessean’s to exercise their right to clean water and healthy communities by fostering civic engagement, building partnerships and advancing, and when necessary enforcing, water policy for a sustainable future”? They are the “only non-government, statewide, non-profit organization solely focused on protecting our waters with the ability to enforce legally.”
Call them our statewide watershed shepherds. And with only 9 employees covering the whole state, they stay busy. To learn more about Tennessee Clean Water Network, their mission, and how to support the cause, visit their website.
I met the cool cats from Syndicate while, what else, drinking a beer. We got to talking about how cool it would be to do a program that was all about making sure fish had a clean place to be fish. Not like the boomerang fish throwing Muppet Lew Zealand, but more like a clean stream. These fine folks are also a local East T company and trust me when I tell you, these guys love to fish. Here’s Syndicate’s story in their words:
“Syndicate Fly Fishing was born of the desire to offer high quality, performance fly fishing equipment and accessories while making the sport more accessible. Our life-long passion for fly fishing and tying turned into the desire to offer technologically advanced products to a new breed of angler, while paying homage to fly fishing’s origins.
Headquartered at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, our research is done in the rivers and streams that we call home. Before we put a new product in a fly shop, it is thoroughly tested by professional anglers, whose success is dependent on the performance of their gear.
Syndicate is a privately held organization focused on manufacturing the best possible fly fishing and tying products available. We produce our products at the best factories around the globe while specifying the highest quality materials. Try our products and see why many professional guides and competition anglers depend on Syndicate.”
At Yee-Haw, we’re proud to call East Tennessee home. We call it “Topophilia” which in short means a “strong love of place” and “a sense of cultural identity.” There’s only one East Tennessee, and they’re sure as hell not making any more of it. Just ask Roy Rogers. This is our home, and we need to do what we can to keep Tennessee as beautiful as possible and keep our water clean for everyone — the plants and animals need it, too. We’re all connected and when one goes, we’re all at risk.
So, the next time you jump in the shower, make some ice cream, water your plants, fill the dog or cat’s water bowl, or pop open a beer, remember this: we are able to do those things and enjoy them because we live in a place where our water is safe. Let’s work to keep it that way and raise a pint to Syndicate Fly Fishing and Tennessee Clean Water Network. Get out all month to be part of that change. Oh and did I mention that you can win a custom Syndicate fly rod this month, too? Be sure to check out our events page for a link on the “how” and “where.”
So, here’s the deal. Get involved, donate, volunteer, or become a member. Until then, stay cool, call your parents, call your friends, go buy some Yee-Haw, and celebrate all things Tennessee and Clean Water.