The expedition celebrates this extraordinary western waterway, a symbol of Canadian identity and wilderness. While the river remains a mostly wild river, its health is severely threatened from massive industrial development leaving Albertans and Canadians questioning the conventional wisdom that the oil sands are a benefit to all. Traveling by canoe, Don and David seek to connect people with the river and inspire people to tell them their stories of concern about the Alberta Oil Sands.
Don van Hout, a local from the Town of Athabasca, is part of a growing number of citizens concerned about the environmental short sightedness and feverish oil sands development threatening the health of waterways and Canadian heritage. In 2004 Don canoed the Athabasca River for 1300 kilometers, "The Athabasca River Basin is absolutely beautiful at the top and at the bottom, but canoeing through the oil sands is a truly agonizing endeavor that will fill you with sadness" says Don. This summer he has chosen to voice his concerns and draw attention to the senseless destruction of the river that he loves.
David Lavallee began climbing and ski mountaineering over 20 years ago, and has been an avid mountain lover ever since. As a certified hiking guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG), David created the first environmental stewardship committee for the association in its history. David sees the alarming rate with which glaciers are changing and questions whether industrial and human activity has to happen at the expense of the outdoor industry and is creating a documentary film about the expedition.
For more information and to share your concern with decision makers about the rapid pace and massive scale of the Alberta oil sands development please visit: www.ConnectingTheDrops.ca