Archive for the 'Healthy, Safer Families and Communities' Category

Americans Speak on Clean Water (Part 2)

By Phil Dimotsis, Organizer. Follow Phil on Twitter (@PhiluptuousD)

Yesterday I shared with you just a few of the passionate words that people from across the nation had to say about the fight to protect clean water. There were too many, and too many good letters, not to share more.

“From an informed laymen’s perspective the goals of the Clean Water Act in 1972 have been largely missed. Now 29 years behind schedule, what should have been a downhill battle is turning into an uphill battle. I’d like to see the Clean Water Act’s 1972 goals actualized.” – a concerned citizen

“Are more words really needed? Any sane, responsible, and self-aware person knows the critical importance of clean water. Please improve and strengthen the Clean Water Act.” – a certified shorthand reporter

“I am old enough to remember when my father would go out to a stream in the country, throw a line, and catch catfish for our dinner. Now those same streams are so polluted that the fish are not safe for humans to eat. I hope that my grandchildren might someday be able to fish in those streams again. Your action is essential if that hope is to be realized.” – a concerned mother

“Water is important because we drink that water and it needs to be clean. If it gets worse, we won’t have enough water for everybody.” – a quote from a concerned mother’s nine year-old daughter

“Clean water is vital to every living thing on this entire planet. This is probably not news to anyone but it seems as though it is taken for granted by everyone. It seems as though the stewardship of our waters has given way to special interest and lobbyists. We should all care that we our children may one day live in a world where a gallon of water costs more than a gallon of gasoline. It is absolutely a worthwhile effort to keep our waters clean.”

“I am concerned that the constant development of open spaces (the ones that filter our water, keeping it free of pesticides and chemicals like benzene) will lead to higher incidences of cancer in New Jersey communities. With the implementation of socialized medicine, costs to the government and taxpayer may increase to say nothing of the many families that will suffer as water continues to get polluted unnecessarily. Is my America going to continue leading the world in pollution by developed nations?” – a concerned citizen

“No waterway is unimportant, since every one can affect our larger ecology. For clean water today and in the future, we must act now.” – concerned citizen

“Clean water is amazing. It helps us live every day. We appreciate all our clean water. So let’s give a round of applause to lakes, rivers, and streams.” – written by a concerned man’s young daughter

“This is not a democrat or republican issue, it should not be political; this act is intended for the good of everyone. Please give this your immediate attention and protect our nation’s vital water resources.”

“Having clean drinking water is not just an issue only faced by struggling third world countries, but we face these same issues in our own backyard, in the greatest country in the world. I plead with you to keep the Clean Water Act strong…”

“We are heavily dependent on the revenue generated by tourism on the largest lake in our town. Without clean water to feed our lake, the local economy would be severely negatively impacted.” – a concerned woman’s words that reflect the sentiment of many letters I read.

“I enjoy the small pleasures in life – including, but not limited to: fishing in lakes and streams, walking along the local reservoir, and enjoying a glass of clean water from my tap. In order to enjoy these activities, I rely on the integrity of my elected officials and government to protect my interests. My generation is armed with more science than ever before that proves resoundingly that all of our nation’s rivers, lakes, and bays are protected only when we protect the smallest but vitally connected streams and wetlands.” – a concerned future-father

The average person that we talk to knows just as much about the conclusions experts come to on the importance of our water resources. Their stories echo just a sample of the millions of other people’s stories that exist in support of these protections. We have only a few chances in a decade, in a generation, or even in a lifetime to take the kind of action necessary for our natural environment, for our recreation, for our economy, for our social equity, and of course for our drinking water – so take a moment to take action HERE, if you haven’t already.


Congress’ Dirty Water Caucus: How do we combat stupid?

by Jonathan A. Scott, on Twitter @jscottnh

Following Tuesday’s US House vote to pass the ROPA Dirty Water bill (HR 5078, approved 262-152) we published this infographic on Clean Water Action’s Twitter and Facebook accounts:

ROPA graph postWe also published a link to information on how individual House Members voted (

One concerned/angry Clean Water Action supporter on Facebook commented, “How do we combat stupid.” Read the rest of this entry »

Clean vs Dirty: why won’t the US House get it?

By Jonathan A. Scott, follow Jon on Twitter – @jscottnh

Today the U.S. House is engaged in all-out debate on the merits of yet another bad bill that is all too likely to pass along party lines. Backed by a long list of outfits I sure wouldn’t trust to protect my water (Big Ag, Dirty Coal, the Fertilizer Institute, National Mining Assoc. & the American Petroleum Institute, the National Pork Producers Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Treated Wood Council and of course the US Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau (chosen by polluters as the public face for this dirty water campaign), this House bill would block EPA from protecting our water, including drinking water sources for 1 in 3 Americans.

When Dirty Water measures like this prevail everybody loses except for an elite few. That’s why we sometimes say “We Can’t All Live Downstream.” Read the rest of this entry »

Organizing for Clean Water

By Paula Weiner, Pittsburgh Phone Organizer
Legacy. That’s what first attracted me me to apply for a job with Clean Water Action.  While aiding others in the choice between a blue scarf and a purple one is important in its own way, I am finding that the ability to leave a lasting difference on our beleaguered planet is more rewarding than I could ever have imagined.  Being a canvasser is not an easy job,  especially when you consider what Clean Water Action is up against.
The people and companies responsible some of the most horrendous acts damaging the earth are well funded and deeply connected, so when I pick up the phone at Clean Water Action, one of my goals is to broaden the base of Earth’s stewards.
Our members run the gamut from school teachers and scientists, to students and nuclear-power-plant employees and everything in between. The most important thing is the care we all have for our solitary planet. Water is the most basic, fundamental necessity we have and I don’t know why it is so scary for the companies that wage war against us. No wait, I do know why: GREED.  That’s the bottom line sometimes, greed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Add Shallow Drinking Water to Fracker’s List of Favorite Things

By John Noël, National Oil and Gas Program Coordinator – follow John on Twitter

On the heels of a groundbreaking report on the oil and gas industry’s continued use of diesel fuel in its fracture fluid, comes another bombshell from two Stanford researchers in Wyoming. An LA Times exclusive indicates the researchers are completing a study in two geologic formations in the much heralded, Pavilion gas field. The results reveal that drillers were fracking IN formations containing underground sources of drinking water. IN being the key word.

Ever since the fracking saga broke into the mainstream, industry has continuously dismissed the public’s concern about the actual fracturing process on our sources of drinking water. They claimed that it is happening far below the surface with no chance of harming the pristine aquifers above. While lots of fracking does occur thousands of feet below the surface and under low permeability capstone rocks, this new research confirms that there are cases of fracking happening at incredible shallow depths of as little as 700-750ft. Which is far shallower than the “…four Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other (“approximately 6000 ft”) claimed by API – and wouldn’t even get you to the observation deck of the actual Empire State Building. Read the rest of this entry »

ReThinking Disposables

By Madison Davis, California Waste Program Intern

Since starting my summer internship at Clean Water Action in Oakland, I’ve discovered how little I really knew about how disposable containers’ impact our environment. Of course as a life long environmentalist, I’ve always tried to do what I could to limit my impact on our precious resources. Using reusable bottles over disposable ones has always been a given for me, but other disposable containers weren’t completely out of the question before I started working at Clean Water Action. For some reason our society has yet to recognize that single use products, such as fro-yo cups, to go containers or disposables offered at restaurants for dinning in, are just as bad for the environment as coffee cups. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s #kickcoalash out of our communities

By Jennifer Peters, National Water Campaigns Coordinator. Follow Jennifer on Twitter – @EarthAvenger

Join us for a coal ash week of social media action, August 4th – August 8th.

Next week marks six months since Duke Energy’s coal ash spill, which dumped more than 39,000 tons of toxic ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the Dan River, the source of drinking water for thousands of Virginians living downstream.  Activists from around the country will be highlighting this by using social media, letters to the editor, and blogs (even here!) to urge the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House to finalize safeguards to better protect public health and the environment from this harmful waste. Read the rest of this entry »

What the Appalachian Trail Taught Me about Clean Water

by Rachel Sicheneder, Clean Water Action alum

Water. Clean Water. It’s amazing how my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail has completely centered my life around it. For safety measures I carry at least one liter of water at all times. Because of this I am constantly checking and re-checking my maps to locate my next water sources. Will my next fill up be a spring or a river? Will I have to travel up or down a mountain to get to it? Will it be clean enough to drink straight? Or will obvious signs of pollution force me to pull out my filter?

I sometimes try and find towns along the way by following the small blue trails of water outlined in my guidebooks. I’ve found that nearly every time a river widens or converges there will be some form of civilization along its banks. We have always based our lives around the availability of water and the Trail is no different. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the Communications Intern!

By Lily Biggar, Communications Intern

I have always loved the water. My sister and I grew up in central Florida with a neighbor kind enough to let us enjoy the vast lake hidden behind his property. The two of us spent afternoons wading in the shallow waters as we searched for minnows and took turns sitting on my dad’s lap as we cruised across the lake in the old speedboat.

When my family moved to Washington, DC, I left the lake behind, but took with me a lasting appreciation for water. Read the rest of this entry »

A Clean Water Summer

Hello! My name is Danny Fanaroff, and I recently joined the Clean Water Action team as a summer intern in the communications department. I’ll be making sure that you hear the latest news and information about our water and what we’re doing to protect it.

I was hired based on my extensive background in journalism and communications. I got my start writing for my high school paper in the sports section and eventually became editor of that section my senior year. For the last six months, I have been writing for a local DC sports blog called All Over the Hill covering the four major sports teams in the greater Washington area as well as some of the local universities.  During my time writing for the site, I used my platform as a means to address some of the social issues affecting the sports industry, most notably the Donald Sterling controversy affecting the Los Angeles Clippers, and the well-documented debate surrounding the Washington Redskins potential and necessary name change.

The reason I wanted to work with Clean Water is simple – I believe in this cause. I know that Clean Water Action’s priorities and campaigns are something that everyone can rally behind.

We are fighting to protect our nation’s water.  We’re making sure that polluters are held accountable if they contribute to the decay of our rivers, lakes, and streams. We’re raising awareness and taking action whichever ways we can. With your help we educate the public and our elected officials and pressure them to protect our water, communities, and environment.

That is why I am here, Clean Water. I am excited to be a part of such a passionate organization and connect to our members and supporters. I can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish together.



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