Archive for the 'Making Democracy Work' Category

Protecting Clean Water for All of the Water Bugs

water bug 1

By Becky Smith, Massachusetts Campaigns Director

My little water bug took her inaugural canoe ride on Saturday, May 23rd, just a few weeks before her first birthday. We paddled the waters of the “mighty Nemasket River” which wasn’t exactly mighty, but still a huge adventure for us that sunny day in Southeastern Massachusetts!

On our paddle, we hit a few rough spots of fast water, portaged over a couple of dams, and I shielded her face from several branches while taking a beating of my own. She came out smiling every time! I did not have to protect her from dangerous, dirty water, however, because we were in a river that has long been protected by the Clean Water Act, though it is a small tributary to the larger Taunton River. Read the rest of this entry »

EPA Clean Water Rule: Minnesota will now be the Land of 10,000 Cleaner Lakes

By Steve Schultz, Minnesota Program Organizer

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and water is an integral part of any Minnesota summer – cannonballs off the dock, mornings on the lake fishing, afternoons on the pontoon, lazy days at the beach. Minnesotans value our water for so many reasons. Read the rest of this entry »

Clean Water Rule = Critical to Maryland

By Will Fadely, Baltimore Program Organizer – Follow Will on Twitter (@TrillChillWill)

Having a healthy water source is critical to our economy. From agriculture, to wildlife, to craft brewing, and clean tech, clean water is the lifeblood to it all. Headwater and seasonal streams feed the drinking water sources of two out of every three Marylanders. In some jurisdictions, like Baltimore City, every resident relies on these streams for their drinking water. But these streams have been at risk for more than a decade.

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers (the agencies) changed all of that when they finalized the long awaited Clean Water Rule. The Clean Water Rule closes loopholes and ensures that all tributary streams, regardless of size or frequency of flow are covered under the Clean Water Act. It will restore protections to thousands miles of streams and thousands of acres of wetlands. It is a huge step in the fight to protect clean water. Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Win for Our Water in Maryland

Daniel Niles and Troiano Rivera, Maryland field organizers – Follow our MD team on Twitter (@CleanWater_MD)

As field organizers with Clean Water Action, we inform residents about environmental issues and ask them to contact elected officials to take action. We have been working on the most important water campaign since the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. And this week we had a huge victory – the Obama administration finalized the Clean Water Rule. The Clean Water Rule will restore protections for the drinking water for 2 in 3 Marylanders and safeguard the streams and wetlands that are vital to communities, wildlife, and small businesses throughout Maryland.

Speaking to residents around the state, especially in Baltimore, we find that protecting clean water is hugely popular. Over the years, Clean Water Action campaigns to restore clean water protections have garnered hundreds of thousands of public comments. The message from the public is the same — our water comes first. This isn’t surprising – a recent poll found that 80% of Americans support Read the rest of this entry »

The Health of Virginia’s Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay Depends on the Clean Water Rule

By Michael Bochynski, Virginia Program Organizer – Follow Our Virginia Team on Twitter (@CleanWaterVA)

This week we are celebrating the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Rule, which restores Clean Water Act protections to tributary streams and wetlands. The release of the rule will ensure that polluters must get a permit to limit the amount of pollution that can be dumped into Virginia’s waterways, thereby protecting the quality and health of downstream rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Read the rest of this entry »

Victory for Our Water Is Sweet

By Miriam Gordon, California State Director – Follow Miriam on Twitter (@CleanH2OMiriam)

Yesterday’s announcement by US EPA that it has finalized its rulemaking and restored Clean Water Act protections for drinking water sources that serve 117 million Americans is nothing short of historic.

I can remember when I first came to Clean Water Action, at the end of 2008. Our big campaign was restoring the Clean Water Act – we called it CWARA back then. In 2008, as I learned about the opposition that was engaged to stop EPA from a rule-making to clarify what waters would be protected under the Clean Water Act, it seemed crazy to me  that we even had to fight this fight. Isn’t protecting the waters that support our “navigable” waterways a no-brainer? Didn’t everyone know that America’s drinking water sources are all connected to a large network of streams, rivers, and groundwater that feed them?  Read the rest of this entry »

Why the Clean Water Rule is Good for Rhode Island

Meg Kerr, Rhode Island State Director

Rhode Island may be the nation’s smallest state, but we all know it as the ocean state, a lovely place that is defined by its fantastic water resources. Narragansett Bay and the rivers that feed it – the Blackstone, Taunton, Woonasquatucket, Moshassuck, Ten Mile, Pawtuxet along with the Wood-Pawcatuck River that flows into Little Narragansett Bay in Westerly provide Rhode Islanders with unsurpassed opportunities for fishing, boating and beautiful scenery along with critical water supply resources. The Clean Water Rule protects these waters by providing protection for ephemeral and headwater streams and wetlands. Protecting these areas is critical to maintaining good water quality in downstream waters. Read the rest of this entry »

Clean Water – The Underpinning of Daily Life

By Melissa Everett, Connecticut Energy Programs Manager

Near my home, the Scantic River is a magnet for paddlers, hikers, foragers, picnickers – an oasis between the suburbs of Enfield and Somers, Connecticut.  A new pub on its shores, Powder Hollow Brewery, now makes craft beer from our local waters.  When I look around, it’s clear that clean water is not an abstraction – it’s an underpinning of daily life.  Or it should be. Read the rest of this entry »

Great News for our Water!

By Bob Wendelgass, President and CEO – Follow Bob on Twitter (@bwendelgass)

If you about water, you care about the Clean Water Rule

If you about water, you care about the Clean Water Rule

If you drink water, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.

If you fish or canoe or kayak or row or swim, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.

If you drink beer or use a computer, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.

If you believe in science, EPA’s new Clean Water rule is great news.

After ten years, the US Environmental Protection Agency has restored protection under the Clean Water Act to 62% of our stream miles and to 20 million acres of wetlands. These are streams and wetlands that used to be protected from pollution and destruction, but lost that protection about ten years ago. For thirty years, these streams and wetlands were protected; but overnight, they were put at risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Twelve Year Polluter Giveaway Comes to an End

PCW kid drinking water_attributedBy Lynn Thorp, National Campaigns Director – follow Lynn on Twitter (@LTCWA)

A little while ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that the long-overdue “Clean Water Rule” will be finalized today.

In September 2002, Clean Water Act experts on our staff and among our national allies noticed troubling language in Congressional testimony from several high-ranking EPA staff. It appeared that the Bush Administration was considering a polluter-friendly interpretation of a Supreme Court case. If they got their way, water bodies that for decades had been protected by Clean Water Act programs would be vulnerable to pollution and destruction.

You can thank the President right here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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