GRN members and staff enjoying the waters of Mississippi’s Leaf River, which is protected by the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act is America’s primary federal law protecting its waters from pollution and an essential tool in protecting healthy waters and wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico region. Many of the victories for the environment that are achieved by Gulf Restoration Network and our partners come courtesy of the Clean Water Act.On October 18, 2012, the Clean Water Act turns 40! This is most certainly a cause for celebration, and we wanted to let everyone know about a couple events hosted by our partners around the country to do just that.See below the jump for details!Clean Water Network’s Fabulous 40 Party for the Clean Water ActClean Water Network has partnered with GRN and many others to bring some clean water joy to the nation’s capital.Date: October 18th, 2012 [40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act]Time: 4:00 PM – 6:00 PMLocation: Rayburn House Office Building Rm. 2253, Capitol Hill, Washington DCMore info: http://www.cleanwaternetwork.org/news-events/events/cwn-fabulous-forty-birthday-party-clean-water-actAt this birthday party to commemorate this landmark law, attendees will hear from a wide range of Clean Water Act supporters. This celebration will showcase the richness of the diversity of organizations working hard to protect our nation’s precious water resources. While there is a lively debate on how best to move forward in the protection of our waters, we are all on the same page when it comes to protecting and strengthening one of the nation’s most important environmental laws. In addition to celebrating the anniversary of the Clean Water Act, this birthday party is also recognizing 40 years of dedication on the part of clean water practitioners and activists across the country. The event will include remarks on exciting developments, birthday cake, tap water and other refreshments. Party favor glasses will be given to attendees, compliments of DC Water.Alabama’s River Advocates Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Clean Water ActDate and Time: Doors open at 5:30 PMLocation Address: Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, ALTicket Prices: $10 for dinner and two beveragesFor ticket purchase: www.joinACF.orgOctober 18, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, America’s primary federal law protecting its waterways from pollution. Two of Alabama’s statewide water protection organizations, Alabama Coastal Foundation and Alabama Rivers Alliance, along with a diverse group of their partner organizations, will host a celebration to toast this landmark legislation and the positive effects that it has had on rivers in Alabama and the rest of the United States.The celebration will include live music from the Oxymorons and fresh seafood from the Fish Market Restaurant. Beverages on hand for toasting will be local beer from Good People Brewing Company, organic wine from JohnnyGreenSeeds Wines, and clean, fresh drinking water. Participants can purchase tickets for only $10.”This bedrock law is a shining example of successful, balanced regulation,” said Cindy Lowry, executive director of the Alabama Rivers Alliance. “It has not inhibited growth, yet has protected and restored our vital water resources for 40 years. I’m proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary with the groups and citizens who have worked tirelessly to ensure the clean water act continues to work in Alabama protecting our rivers and our communities.””We are very excited to be in Birmingham to celebrate with others in the state on this special occasion,” said Mark Berte, executive director of the Alabama Coastal Foundation. “The Clean Water Act is an important law, and this anniversary is a great time to look at how far our waterways have come and also how much farther we have to go in keeping them protected.”Since the Clean Water Act’s passage in 1972, pollution in river systems from sources like sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities has been dramatically reduced. In 1970, point-source contaminants accounted for 85% of the pollutants in our waters, and today account for only 15%. The rate of wetland loss has declined by 90% since the 1970’s. However, many challenges still remain. When the act was passed, its goal was to render 100% of the nation’s waters “fishable and swimmable” over the next thirteen years. Today, forty years later, nearly half of all rivers, lakes, and streams are still not clean enough for those uses.Dan Favre is GRN’s Communication Director.