By Phil Dimotsis, Organizer. Follow Phil on Twitter (@PhiluptuousD). Photo: Letters for Clean Water .
Ed. Note: This is Part 1 of 2. See part 2 here.
Our grassroots canvass teams, the lifeblood of our work, have so far collected nearly 40,000 hand-written comments to EPA supporting their common sense rulemaking to restore the Clean Water Act. That’s astounding – nearly 40,000 parents, grandparents, children, recreationalists, home owners, farmers, educators, concerned citizens, and thousands alike have taken precious time out of their day to participate in their community to make sure our government continues to do right by us. I’ve had the privilege to read and sort through many of these letters, notes, and drawings from across the nation and I must admit - to see such broad public support not only makes me happy as a clam, but also empowers those at EPA who are attempting to do the right thing and restore fundamental protections for streams, rivers, lakes, bays, and drinking water sources. I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some particularly poignant and simply stated pieces of these letters to EPA, which struck a chord in me – because as one man writes, these protections are “a no brainer.”
“I have experienced and witnessed the health consequences of having water that is unclean, contaminated, and containing waste. Protect our water as one of the most basic human needs; sustain the integrity of the Clean Water Act.” – former Peace Corp volunteer in Morocco, and member of an educational board of trustees.
“When it is time for a vote, imagine, if you will, a little child with a glass of water in hand and your knowledge of what might be in it. Vote, then, as if that child was yours. Now is the time to turn back the clock on ‘relaxed’ regulations that have been degrading the quality of our drinking water for the last 50 years.” – a concerned father
“Clean water is vital to my family, me, and our legacy to pass on to our next generations and I have serious concerns about the Clean Water Act being circumvented.” – Former helmsman board member, member of a Marine Institute, a scuba diving instructor, and an international fisherman’s association
“While the main focus is often on energy resources such as oil, coal, and gas, the wealth and well-being of many countries and its people largely rest on their water resources. Climate change means hydrological change. Ultimately we’re all part of the water cycle, and supplies are finite. The Earth isn’t making any more of it. This is not a government takeover, as some propaganda would have it; it’s a matter of common sense, applied to the commons that we all depend on.” – a concerned citizen
“I would like to pass a cleaner world onto those who come after me. My mom always taught us that when we went out into nature, we should try to leave it at least as good as we found it. I try to set an example by teaching my kids to recycle, pick up trash when we’re on the beach (which has put a damper on many romantic walks with my husband, though he is very understanding), and discussing the challenges of managing pollution with my children. Environmental protection is high on my priority list when I am at the voting booth, too.” – a concerned mother, future grandmother and great-grandmother
“I grew up especially active in water sports; there is nothing I love more than swimming in and enjoying fresh, clean water. This will not only keep us healthy, but the wildlife and forestry that depend on these small streams and wetlands being healthy, too.” – a conscientious young adult
“It’s almost absurd that such a letter needs to be written, for who would ever question the intrinsic necessity of clean water? It saddens me to think that any group of persons would try and compromise the purity of our water for more money in their pockets. Yet, I suppose this is why you [EPA] are so needed to take a clear stand – as clear as the water you want to drink.” – a baffled, yet pragmatic woman
“As we look at the effects of eventual sea level rise, wetland conservation, restoration, and political leadership will be vital components to maintaining our quality of life. Clean water is the basis for any sustainable long-term community. There are absolutely ZERO acceptable reasons to allow short-term economic interests to undermine this modest and reasonable goal, and deprive the rest of us and our children the economic and quality-of-life benefits of clean water.” – a concerned woman in the SF Bay area.
These stories are just a sample of the millions of other people’s stories that exist in support of these protections. We have only a few chances in a decade, in a generation, or even in a lifetime to take the kind of action necessary for our natural environment, for our recreation, for our economy, for our social equity, and of course for our drinking water – so take a moment to take action HERE, if you haven’t already. Part 2 tomorrow. WWW.PROTECTCLEANWATER.ORG