Clean Water Network Names 30 'Clean Water Heroes' on 30th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

Coalition Holds More Than 100 Events Nationwide

WASHINGTON (October 18, 2002) -- The Clean Water Network, a coalition of more than a 1,000 organizations around the country, today honored 30 "clean water" heroes to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. These heroes, who range from local activists to members of Congress, have dedicated their lives to cleaning up our nation's waterways. The network announced the heroes at a morning press conference on Capitol Hill. (See below for the list of heroes.)

"Thanks to these heroes and their work implementing the Clean Water Act, our rivers no longer burn, and left-for-dead lakes now support wildlife and fishing," said Betsy Otto, senior director of American Rivers' watershed program and network co-chair.

Besides honoring the heroes in Washington, D.C., the network is celebrating the anniversary by:

  • holding more than 100 events around the country to urge federal, state and local officials to strengthen their efforts to clean up water pollution.
  • hosting press conferences with public officials in more than 75 cities and counties that have passed clean water proclamations declaring specific commitments to protecting local waterways.

Network officials cautioned that although the Clean Water Act is one of the most popular and successful environmental laws, there is still more work to be done. "It is important that we celebrate the progress we've made cleaning up many of our waterways," said Nancy Stoner, director of the Clean Water Project at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and a network co-chair. "But 45 percent of our waterways still are polluted, and the Bush administration is rolling back federal protection for clean water. Our job is far from done."

The Clean Water Network's 30 Clean Water Heroes
On the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Water Network recognizes the following clean water heroes for their advocacy and support of the Clean Water Act. A biography of each of the winners detailing their contributions to improving water quality is available at

  1. Stewards of the Clean Water Act:
    U.S. Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, Maine
    U.S. Sen. John Chafee, Sr., Rhode Island
  2. Wendell Berry, Kentucky
  3. U.S. Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert, New York
  4. Lee Botts, Indiana
  5. U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, California
  6. U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell, Michigan
  7. Rick Dove, North Carolina
  8. Don Elder, Oregon
  9. Arthur Feinstein, California
  10. Beth Fraser, Georgia
  11. Donna Frye, California
  12. John Kabler, Virginia
  13. John Katko, Ohio
  14. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., New York
  15. Jessica Landman, Washington, D.C.
  16. Robin Mann, Pennsylvania
  17. Judy Meyer, Georgia
  18. Rob Moore, Vermont
  19. U.S. Rep. James L. Oberstar, Minnesota
  20. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., New Jersey
  21. Ed Perry, Pennsylvania
  22. Myrna Poticha, Colorado
  23. Cindy Rank, West Virginia
  24. Nancy Rabalais, Louisiana
  25. Pete Seeger, New York
  26. U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut
  27. Mark Solomon, Idaho
  28. Terry Spence, Missouri
  29. Mark Van Putten, Washington, D.C.
  30. David Zwick, Washington, D.C.

The Clean Water Network is comprised of more than 1,000 local, state, regional and national groups in 50 states working to strengthen federal clean water policy. Member groups include a variety of organizations representing environmentalists, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, surfers, boaters, family farmers, faith communities, environmental justice advocates, labor unions, civic associations and recreational enthusiasts. For more information, contact Eddie Scher, Clean Water Network director, at (202) 289-2395,

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.