Last week, the House of Representatives voted against clean water by a vote of 152-267 (you can see how your Member of Congress voted here). Later today, another vote is scheduled, in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, one that would weaken the ability of pollution control experts to protect our nation's waters.
What’s going on? In poll after poll, Americans consistently cite clean water as their number one environmental issue.
When people are asked specifically about protecting small streams and wetlands – as they were in a recent poll in Ohio and Colorado – their reactions are the same: overwhelming support for improved clean water safeguards.
We saw this public support recently, when some farmers, local elected officials, anglers and home beer brewers took to the radio waves to urge the Administration to protect their drinking and recreational waters by issuing guidance to clarify which waterbodies are covered by the Clean Water Act.
In one of the interviews, Matt Misicka from the Ohio State University and the League of Ohio Sportsmen pointed out that, “Americans expect when they turn on the tap, you’re going to get a clean glass of water.”
Matt went on to talk about what clean water means for jobs & fishing in Ohio, “10 years ago, there were 1200 charter boat captains up on Lake Erie and now they are only 700. So, we’ve lost about 500 good-paying jobs … because the Lake Erie waters and tributaries can’t produce the walleye and perch they used to.”
In Virginia, Ann Mallek, a beef cattle farmer, called on the Administration to act, saying, “President Obama and the EPA… need to know there is lots of community support, grassroots citizen support for the Clean Water Act and to make sure that these guidelines are promptly adopted.”
Similar interviews took place in Maine, Colorado, Michigan and Ohio.
You don’t have to take to the radio waves to have your voice heard – you can send a message to President Obama. Tell him why you value clean water and urge him to do all he can to protect these vital resources, including issuing the “Waters of the US” guidance.
And, don’t forget to contact your Congressman and Senator as well (202-224-3121). We can’t afford to take clean water for granted.