Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' 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 »

Talking About #ProtectCleanWater

by David Gerraughty, Community #ProtectCleanWater Campaign Team Leader

Put Drinking Water First


Providence, Rhode Island — When I talk to people on their doorsteps in Massachusetts and Rhode Island about our Waters of the United States campaign, the reaction I get most often is:


I tell them that small streams and wetlands have lost federal protections that had been in place for 30 years. They say:

How can that be?

I talk about how our powerful opponents have used the court system to whittle away at the scope of the Clean Water Act. They say:

That’s just wrong. 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 »

The Need to #ProtectCleanWater Should be self-Evident

Put Drinking Water First

Yesterday on Facebook, Clean Water Action said this:

One more time (you might be guessing how important this is because we keep posting about it)! We need everyone (that means you!) to tell the Senate to reject any dirty water amendments that would stop U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters from protecting clean water. Let Senators like Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Jack Reed, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, and both of your Senators know that you support the rule to #ProtectCleanWater

Hundreds of Clean Water Action members and fans responded by taking our online action and sending urgent #ProtectCleanWater and #NoDirtyWater messages to their U.S. Senators. 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 »

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 »

Responding to #ProtectCleanWater Myths

By Margi Armstrong, Lake St. Clair Program Coordinator

Protecting all of our nation’s water seems like a no brainer. In fact, when I ask folks in my community to take action to fix the Clean Water Act and ensure that we protect our drinking water sources, the most common response is “Well, duh! Where do I sign?!”. However, some of our elected officials in Michigan don’t feel the same way. A State Representative in Southeast Michigan has proposed a resolution calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) to recall their proposed “waters of the United States” rule. The claims in the resolution do not add up. Read the rest of this entry »

Living Near Lakes: Reason 1972 to #ProtectCleanWater

By Evan Kreager, Michigan Energy Program Intern

It was in college that I was first introduced to the concept of a watershed. For those who don’t know, a watershed is a basin from which all sources of water, both above and below land, are linked by their common course of drainage. Honestly, until I was about 20 years old I’d never even heard the word. But like many things, once a person is aware of an idea, it becomes difficult to escape it.

I grew up living next to lakes: Campbell Lake, Gull Lake, and Lake Michigan. I’ve always loved being on the water, and as I grow older I have become increasingly aware of how lucky I’ve been.

It wasn’t until I learned what a watershed was that I could really begin to understand the importance of our water – how every body of water, no matter how large or small, is connected within one giant ecological community. Read the rest of this entry »

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