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1.5 Million Bare Feet For Drinkable Rivers

The Drinkable Rivers Movement is closer to reaching their goal as a Frenchman helps to raise funds for new real-time data sensors, by barefoot tramping the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand. This will aid the restoration of the Avon River/Ōtākaro, and help the movement meet their ultimate goal of Drinkable Rivers once again.

The Drinkable Rivers cause began in 2019 in Christchurch/Ōtautahi with Avon River/Ōtākaro locals. They realised that it is best to clean the river from the headwaters down to be successful in restoring the health of the waterway for future generations. They have begun with the first 110m, and to help further fund the project Etienne Lorre is now walking barefoot, until 28 February 2022, as a fundraiser for Drinkable Rivers initiatives.

Etienne is attempting to walk 1.5 million bare feet (457.2km) across New Zealand’s 10 Great Walks, with support from his partner Stella capturing their story, Barefoot for Awa.

Drinkable Rivers is a charitable cause utilising public and private donations to prioritise river restoration. This particular campaign seeks to raise funds to implement real time data sensors which help give the river a voice, and aid public understanding of the contaminant issues.

Drinkable Rivers also works to establish riparian planting zones, supports bioremediation projects, and develops community education. Notably, the successful Kaitiakitanga Programme developed with Villa Maria College, which has seen the Corfe Reserve Riparian Zone established.

Restoring the Avon River/Ōtākaro first will set precedence for other rivers, cities and regions to work together to clean up the 75% of unswimmable, and most definitely undrinkable, rivers.

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To follow Eti’s Barefoot For Awa fundraising campaign, running until the end of February 2022, either visit www.drinkablerivers.nz, follow us on social media or listen to the Barefoot For Awa Podcast

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