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

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.



Baltimore Takes a Stand for Clean Water

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – follow Will on Twitter: @TrillChillWill

This spring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took some long-overdue steps to fix the Clean Water Act, ending confusion over which streams and wetlands are protected by the law. Loopholes in the law created over the past decade have left more the half the stream miles in the U.S. and drinking water sources for 100% of Baltimore City residents at risk from pollution and development.

Polluters and their allies in Congress are fighting tooth and nail to block EPA from taking this common sense step to protect clean water. In the U.S. House and Senate, they’re throwing a series of “dirty water” amendments and riders into the budget and appropriations process, hoping to sneak something through.

Today, on behalf of its 100,000 Maryland members and supporters, Clean Water Action urged U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski to oppose all dirty water amendments and riders proposed for the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Sen. Mikulski is a key clean water leader on the Senate panel which will get first crack at these measures. Read the rest of this entry »

Will You Be Smiling for Father’s Day? How about after that?

2 dogsSmiling is good. We need more of it.

Father’s day can be worth smiling about. We hope that’s true in your case. So, what’s the link between smiling and clean water (other than the obvious)?

If you’re customer of the world’s largest online retailer (like most people who buy stuff online) chances are you’ve seen a few emails talking about Amazon’s new “smile” program that donates to Clean Water Fund and other 501-c-3 nonprofits, whenever you make purchases through a special Smile account.

Smiling Made Easy — With lots of people doing it, even small donations can add up quickly for Clean Water. Plus, every few months, to boost participation, the company offers a much larger donation. For Father’s Day it’s $5 for every purchase. That’s great. But for any of the donations to happen, you have to do two extra things: Read the rest of this entry »

Outdoors Enjoyment & Clean Water Go Together Like…

For most people, your outdoor experience would be much less enjoyable without clean water. Three of the basics – fishing, swimming, drinking – can’t really happen without clean water.

ProtectPlayOutdoor sports retailer Summit Sports is dedicating a portion of all June and July online sales to three great outdoor causes and Clean Water is one of them. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Not Always Sunny in Philadelphia

By Bob Wendelgass, President & CEO. Follow Bob on Twitter – @BWendelgass

It rained yesterday here in Philadelphia–which reminded me why we need to restore protection under the Clean Water Act to all our streams and wetlands.

When it rained, lots of small streams in my part of the city popped back into life, carrying rainwater downstream to the larger Wissahickon Creek and eventually to the Schuylkill River.  Most of these small streams go dry between rainstorms, but they play a big role when it rains.  They carry rainwater off the land, feeding water into their larger downstream cousins, and providing nutrients to the aquatic life in the overall watershed.   Read the rest of this entry »

Risking Our Food and Farmland in Michigan

By Bruni Bezati, Lake St. Clair Program Intern

I am extremely disappointed with the Michigan State Legislature’s decision to pass a package of bills that allows industrial waste, like coal ash, to be used in roads, as construction fill, and most alarming of all, to be spread over our farm fields. This poses the risk of contaminating our food and causing damage to Michigan’s farming communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Project Stream Clean – #ProtectCleanWater

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Organizer – Follow Will on Twitter: @TrillChillWill

bmore stream clean 3Over the past few decades, Earth Day has become Earth Week. It’s a time for people and communities to connect with each other to take a stand for our environment and water. Earth Week and Earth Month give people a chance to focus finding solutions to everyday environmental problems – like the illegal dumping of trash into our creeks.  Unfortunately, illegal dumping is rampant in the Huntington community. But there are people who want to stop it and protect their creeks.

“People are always dumping back here, regardless of the time of day,” says Angelica Carter, community member. “We just want our stream to be clean and we want to protect clean water.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a result of illegal dumping upstream, the local stream in Huntington is contaminated with Chlorides, Total suspended solids (TSS), and other toxins. And when Clean Water staff surveyed the site, we didn’t need EPA data to tell us this stream was infected and needed help. So we got together with the Huntington Community Association and came up with a plan.

So, in late February we began planning a stream clean day to help stem the tide of public dumping in the neighborhood. We rallied our troops – reaching out to Towson University and partnering with The Big Event. The Big Event is Towson’s largest day of community service. Towson students responded to the call and more 30 signed up for the big stream clean.  Likewise, The Huntington Community Association canvassed their community and gathered over a dozen Read the rest of this entry »

This Memorial Day, I’ll be Thinking About Clean Water

By Cassi Steenblok, Pittsburgh Program Organizer

As Memorial Day draws near I can’t help but think of summer and all the fun and exciting things I want to do now that the days are getting longer and warmer. For me summer has always revolved around water.

I grew up in upstate New York close to two of the Great Lakes, and even closer to the smaller lakes in the Finger Lakes region of the state. I have many fond memories from my childhood swimming, fishing, and canoeing in the lakes, rivers, and streams that were within walking distance from my house.  Then when I graduated college I packed up my life and moved to Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island is fondly known as the “Ocean State” and is full of beautiful coastlines and amazing beaches. I would often spend those hot summer days in Rhode Island at the beach to get out of the city and enjoy the water. Providence was also where I first started working for Clean Water Action, to protect that coastline I value so much.

A year ago I packed up my life again and moved to Pittsburgh to continue my Clean Water journey as a Program Coordinator in Western Pennsylvania. It was almost summer when I moved to the “Three Rivers” city and I was hopeful to again spend my summers close to the water. But what I found in Pittsburgh was not what I expected. I knew there are not going to be any ocean beaches to relax at on a hot day, but surely there must be some places to swim. Unfortunately, many of the rivers and streams in Pittsburgh are not swimmable or fishable. So where does everyone go to cool off? I was told the closest thing to a beach in Pittsburgh is Sandcastle Water Park. And while it is incredibly fun to spend the day on water slides and in the wave poll, it’s just not the same.

Regardless of where we live, all our waterways should be offered the same protection. Within the past twelve years we have lost of the safeguards for many of the small streams and wetlands similar to the ones I played in as a child. These are the waterways that lead to our rivers and oceans. If they aren’t clean and safe then our larger waterways will not be either. That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to restore protections to these precious streams and wetlands is so important.

This Memorial Day I’ll be off to Rhode Island for my first visit in a year. You better believe that I’ll be spending my time at the beaches that I miss so much. But I’ll also be treasuring that clean water and thinking about how important it is to protect all of America’s waterways. How about you? Click here to take action!

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