Reviving Clean Water Network

With waterways like the Pearl River under increasing threats from dam construction for lake developments, paper mill effluent and city sewage discharges, and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency poised to restore Clean Water Act protections to more than half of the nation’s streams; Gulf Restoration Network joins groups across the country today to announce that they are reviving theClean Water Network, the national network of non-profit organizations working to protect rivers, lakes, and wetlands across America.The Clean Water Network hosts webinars and provides itsmemberswith training, policy expertise, and a forum for coordinating grassroots outreach.Originally founded in 1992, the Clean Water Network will be housed under Environment America Research & Policy Center and guided by anAdvisory Boardrepresenting a range of local and national clean water groups and diverse regions of the country.”One year ago tomorrow, a 10,000 gallon chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River left 300,000 people without clean drinking water, reminding us how critical Gulf waterways like the Mississippi, Pearl and Mobile Rivers are to inland and coastal communities in our region,” said Andrew Whitehurst, Gulf Restoration Network’s Water Program Director. “To prevent disasters like this, Gulf Restoration Network is joining with allies across the country to fight for clean water protections.” “Relaunching the Clean Water Network means building an arsenal of grassroots support for clean water” , said Kimberly Williams, Coordinator of the Clean Water Network. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be giving a united voice to local watershed groups, the backbone of the clean water movement.” “Gulf Restoration Network is happy to be part of the revival of the Clean Water Network,” said Mr. Whitehurst. “Serving on the advisory board is a way for us to promote and support renewed collaboration among a diverse group of resourceful organizations and talented people around the country, all working to protect and restore our shared water resources.””Just like the health of the nation’s best known and loved water bodies depends on the feeder streams that flow into them, the clean water community’s strength comes from the watershed groups that protect and use their local waterways every day,” said Jon Devine, a Senior Attorney in NRDC’s Water Program. “At NRDC, we’ve seen how the Network connects these water stewards with folks like us working to ensure that national clean water safeguards remain strong.” “Throughout its twenty year history, the Clean Water Network has been a key partner in National Wildlife Federation’s work to educate and mobilize concerned citizens to conserve America’s wetlands, lakes, and streams through the Clean Water Act and related state permitting programs,” said Jan Goldman-Carter, NWF’s Senior Manager, Wetlands and Water Resources. “We look forward to working closely with the Network to advance protections for the Nation’s waters in the years to come.” “The Clean Water Network provides essential support to watershed groups across the country. Here in New Mexico we count on the Network to provide us with eyes and ears on the ground in the nation’s capital,” said Rachel Conn, Projects Director of Amigos Bravos. “We are excited to see the Clean Water Network relaunch as we depend on the services provided by the Network to help us in our efforts to protect the rivers and streams in New Mexico.” “People have a right to pure water and a healthy environment but in order to secure and defend these rights we need to be working and fighting together across watersheds, across issues, across our nation,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the four state organization the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “That is what the Clean Water Network will help us accomplish ” creating that stronger, growing, and increasingly coordinated force for water protection that is needed to battle back the lobbying, the campaign contributions, and the bought and paid for science that the industry is increasingly using to try to overshadow the voice of the People and our right to the pure water we needed to sustain our present and future healthy lives.” ###

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