By Susan Eastwood, Campaign Organizer – follow Susan on Twitter (@SCEastwood)
Emil, age 8, said it best. “Don’t throw trash on the ground because when it rains, it washes into the river and dirties the drinking water.”
Five year old Archie drew a contrast in bright colors, to compare “a happy fish swimming by a rainbow waterfall” with “a fish throwing up. It’s what’s gonna happen if people keep putting garbage in the water.”
Avery, age 8, showed two children holding their noses next to a polluted stream with a very sad fish swimming among the mess.
When you look at these kids’ drawings about water, you know that they get it. They get that we all need clean water to live and that it is common sense that we must protect our air and water as the most basic necessities of life. Read more…
by Bob Wendelgass, Clean Water Action President & CEO, follow on Twitter @BWendelgass
When Congress overwhelmingly passed the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, we set an incredibly ambitious goal: eliminate all water pollution.
Before the Act, the Cuyahoga River caught fire, Lake Erie was declared “dead,” untreated waste was routinely dumped in rivers and streams, and wetlands were thought to be useless swamps that needed to be drained for development or agriculture. The Clean Water Act changed all of that. Over the past forty-two years we have seen amazing progress for our water.
The Act is visionary – it changed how we think about our nation’s relationship with our water resources, after more than a century of pollution and degradation.
The Clean Water Act turns 42 on tomorrow (10/18). To celebrate we’ll be sharing reflections on the Act, talking about the fight to protect clean water, and discussing what we can all do to put drinking water first.
By Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – Follow Lynn on Twitter (@LTWCA)
The Clean Water Act became law 42 years ago this week. It’s got a straightforward name and ambitious goals (zero pollution into our nation’s waterways.) Getting there is not so simple. I have two birthday wishes for this law.
First, we have to close loopholes that leave some water unprotected even though science tells us it should be. Right this minute, a huge policy battle is being waged over whether streams, wetlands and other bodies of water should be covered by the Act’s programs. I used to think streams and wetlands were landscape features. Now I know that they are actually part of our water infrastructure. What I mean by that is that they perform a function that we often think has to be performed by engineering and building things. Streams and wetlands filter pollution before it makes its way downstream to rivers and lakes, including rivers and lakes where we get our drinking water. This protects public health and wildlife. Wetlands and streams also prevent flooding, which can cause economic disruption and displace people from their homes. My first birthday wish for the Clean Water Act is that we stop arguing over the obvious and support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to close this loophole. Read more…
The Clean Water Act turns 42 on Saturday. To celebrate we’ll be sharing reflections on the Act, talking about the fight to protect clean water, and discussing what we can all do to put drinking water first.
By Susan Eastwood, Program Coordinator – Follow Susan on Twitter (@sceastwood)
Tuesday night, the Hartford City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and US Army Corps of Engineers’ proposal to clarify protection of streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Clean Water Action applauds the Council and thanks Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings for introducing the resolution and for her continued leadership on environmental issues.
The timing of the resolution is perfect, as this coming Saturday, October 18, is the forty-second anniversary of passage of the Clean Water Act. What better birthday present than to support the restoration of protections to over half the streams in the US and over 20 million acres of wetlands? These upstream waterways were considered to be covered under the Act for over 30 years until court challenges muddied the definitions of “Waters of the United States”. The proposed rule will clarify which waters are covered and which are not. Read more…
By Alex Papali, Organizer : Green Justice Campaign and Boston Recycling Coalition – follow the Boston office on Twitter (@CleanH2OMA)
The People’s Climate March in Manhattan last month was hailed as a watershed moment for the fast-growing climate movement. Yet fewer people see themselves as environmentalists today than in decades past. An estimated 20 million Americans, for example, participated in the first Earth Day in 1970, credited with building the grassroots pressure that led to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other fundamental environmental protections we enjoy today.
An honest assessment may well show that the lower numbers of self-identified environmentalists today is because being green is perceived as the province of affluent whites who don’t have to deal with the immediate needs of real life, or as coming at too high a cost to society’s economic health. But the class and race diversity readily apparent at the New York march show that these attitudes are changing quickly. Every day more people understand the economic benefits that come with low-carbon energy production, or the power of investing in local control of energy, food and other systems instead of the expensive and undemocratic status quo. Read more…