“This is the second grant WATER has received from Patagonia. We are once again deeply thankful for this award,” stated WATER Board member Raven Stevens in a recent press release.

The Mount Shasta-based nonprofit We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, commonly referred to as WATER, recently received a grant from Patagonia, an outdoor clothing and gear company that focuses on promoting environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

“This is the second grant WATER has received from Patagonia. We are once again deeply thankful for this award,” stated WATER Board member Raven Stevens in a recent press release. “We have had the Superior Court hearings for the lawsuits we filed against Siskiyou County and Crystal Geyser Water Company and against the City of Mount Shasta and Crystal Geyser Water Company. We are now awaiting the judge’s decision for both cases.”

The grant helps WATER pursue their efforts in appellate court if necessary, said WATER board vice president Frank Toriello, “and continue our work protecting the water of our region. The continued support of Patagonia is significantly helping our efforts to protect the resources and environmental health of our Northern California bioregion.”

WATER formed in 2013 after learning that Crystal Geyser Water Company planned to set up a beverage bottling operation on Ski Village Drive, just outside Mount Shasta’s city limits near the headwaters of the Sacramento River “without any environmental impact analysis and local agency oversight,” the release states.

Working with the local community, WATER succeeded in demanding Siskiyou County prepare an environmental impact report as required by the California Environmental Quality Act. Although there was substantial public input into the EIR process pointing out the many flaws of the report, WATER alleged, it was approved by the county board of supervisors. WATER has challenged the validity of the EIR, filing law suits against Siskiyou County and the City of Mt. Shasta, both agencies they believe have responsibilities for project oversight.

WATER says its mission is to: 1) advocate preservation of natural resources and a healthy environment; 2) advocate long-range community planning and regenerative practices to protect all citizens and to promote a thriving community; 3) communicate these concerns to local government officials and agencies; 4) encourage community-wide participation through educating the public about these issues; 5) defend these issues with public interest litigation activities if necessary.

Appreciating “that all life on earth is under threat of extinction,” Patagonia’s grants program “supports innovative work that addresses the root causes of the environmental crisis and seeks to protect both the environment and affected communities ... encourages work that brings underrepresented communities to the forefront of the environmental movement and supports communities whose health and livelihoods are threatened by environmental exploitation,” and “supports multi-pronged campaigns that push for greater environmental protections and force the government to abide by its own laws,” as stated on its website.