Like water off a duck’s back…

Contributing Editor Walt Pickut
Contributing Editor Walt Pickut

Whatever you just said had no effect at all, it was totally unimportant to somebody you really wanted to make an impact on—maybe even with your boot!

But they just didn’t care. Your words rolled off them like water off a duck’s back. Need some more examples of things people consider irrelevant? They might tell you…

It’s as important as hip pockets on a Guernsey cow.

It’s not my circus, and they’re not my monkeys. I don’t care.

It’s as irrelevant as the fact that in Barngates, Ambleside in the UK, there’s a pub named the Drunken Duck.

See what I mean? Some things simply don’t matter. That’s why a duck’s back sheds water.

But some shed water really does matter. This week your Jamestown Gazette and our guest cover story contributor, Jean Gomory, is here to remind everyone that water shed off thousands of acres of woodland and towns around Chautauqua Lake, and an adjacent almost 900 square miles in Warren, Chautauqua, and Cattaraugus Counties, is really important, relevant—and in danger.

Without the Chautauqua Watershed, for example, Chautauqua Lake would only be a 17-mile gulch—deep, dry, and a terrible place for fishing, swimming, boating, and useless for enjoying sunsets over.

The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, as are The Chautauqua-Conewango Consortium and the Conewango Creek Watershed Association, is protecting the hills, mountains, and valleys that drain rain and snow-melt into their basins by way of nearby brooks, creeks, and rivers.

The danger is that some of the lands drain pollution-saturated runoff—not to mention cast-off garments, kitchen accessories, and worse—into the streams and lakes from industries, poorly managed farms, and homes built with faulty sewage and lawn drainage.

And this week’s Jamestown Gazette also invites our readers to celebrate Earth Day on Thursday, April 22. It is not only Chautauqua County, nearby Warren and Cattaraugus Counties that need help keeping their water clean, scenic, and healthy. It is Planet Earth itself.

The notion that individual action by each of us can keep our hometowns and our entire planet green and clean stands behind this year’s campaign: A Billion Acts of Green.

One person can not to it all, but all people can do at least one thing. Don’t let this year’s Earth Day or your support for organizations like the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, feel like the water that rolls off a duck’s back.

Consider these words and accept the challenges:

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. Marshall McLuhan

Try to leave the Earth a better place than when you arrived. Sidney Sheldon

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Let’s not let these opportunities roll off our backs.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.