Protect Your Rivers for Future Generations
Big polluters and their allies in Congress are continuing their assaults on protections for our clean drinking water.
It’s time for the Obama Administration to make good on its commitment to clean water by restoring protections to small streams and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. Tell the Obama Administration that you support restoring clean water protections to keep your local waters safe enough to get your drinking water from and clean enough to fish and swim in!
- President Obama
As a supporter of American Rivers, I am writing to urge you stand strong on your commitment to clean water by finalizing guidance to restore protections to our small streams and wetlands.
Your Administration's Clean Water Framework demonstrates your dedication to safeguarding our nation's rivers, lakes, and streams to protect clean water and public health. Over the past ten years, clean water has consistently ranked as the number one environmental concern across the country.
Americans want and expect clean water that is safe for them to drink, clean for them to swim in, and healthy enough to support fish and wildlife.
Despite this, current interpretations of the Clean Water Act following two Supreme Court decisions leave the small streams and wetlands that contribute to the drinking water supplies of 117 million Americans vulnerable. An estimated 10,000 wetlands, rivers, and streams may not be protected from pollution or degradation.
Clean water and a healthy economy are not disparate goals. Dirty, polluted waters create no economic value for communities or business owners. From the outdoor industry to the manufacturing sector, many businesses across the country rely upon access to clean water. Implementing a consistent approach to determine what waters are protected from pollution and degradation can help to reduce uncertainty for businesses and even reduce permit-review time.
Beyond protecting clean water for swimming, fishing, and to use as a source of drinking water, clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act would protect wetlands that provide critical flood storage. Across the country, 9.6 million homes and $390 billion in property are located in 15,000 square miles of flood-prone areas.
Twenty percent of an estimated 100 million acres of wetlands in the continental United States may not be protected under the existing interpretations of the Clean Water Act. If these wetlands are not protected, the devastating impacts of flooding may only increase.
Today, with the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act approaching, it is more important than ever that this guidance is finalized and that the agencies initiate a rulemaking process to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act.
Protect our rivers for future generations and restore protections to our small streams and wetlands.
Thank you for considering my request.
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