The Clean Water Blog

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Celebrating 50 Years of Protecting Clean Water

We’re doing a happy dance! This week, we are celebrating our 50th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act - which our founder, the late David Zwick, helped to craft and pass in 1972. 

October 18, 2022 marks 50 years since Congress got serious about protecting clean water and passed the Clean Water Act. Back then our rivers and lakes were so contaminated by decades of pollution, they even caught on fire. But thanks to the grassroots organizing and research of David Zwick and countless others who demanded change, the Clean Water Act was passed, ending the culture of dumping of raw sewage and untreated industrial waste into our waters. 

Since then, our nation’s waterways have achieved remarkable progress. But we still have a long way to go to ensure clean water for all. The landmark law is currently under threat with the U.S. Supreme Court considering a case that could dramatically scale back which waterways the Act protects.

For 50 years we’ve been organizing to protect clean water - and we won’t stop now. Join us! People power is why we continue to win for our water. We’ve put together a list of 50th ways you can help us celebrate. Our theme this year is “People. Action. Justice” because YOU are what gives us the strength in numbers to take action, protect clean water, and fight for justice now and for the next 50 years.

National 50th Anniversary Celebration - Oct 19th

Cheers to 50 Years! Join us for Clean Water Action’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Oct 19th, 2022 from 7-9 PM EST. Hang out at a table and mix and mingle with your friends and other attendees while listening to music, hearing from special speakers, and supporting our work. All are welcome! Invite your friends and family and RSVP here.

A Lot Happens in 50 Years - Read & Share Our History

You’ve probably seen the photos or heard the stories about rivers that caught on fire, smog that was thick enough to choke on, “dead” lakes like Lake Erie, and polluters able to do whatever they wanted to with no accountability. It all seemed so “normal”. And it was, until some people decided to speak up and do something.

One of those people was our founder, David Zwick. In the late 60s, David took an assignment from Ralph Nader to investigate the state of the nation’s water. What he found shocked him and turned into a book – Water Wasteland. Read, learn more, and share this history in a blog post by our CEO & President Bob Wendelgass - A Lot Happens in 50 Years.

#CleanWater50Stories - Powerful Voices in the Clean Water Movement

In honor of our 50th birthday, we are lifting up voices and stories in the Clean Water movement through #CleanWater50Stories. Read and watch some of these incredible stories here. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Submit your story here.

Make a Special 50th Anniversary Gift - Donate Today

Your support - your membership and your activism - have powered our first 50 years, and will power the next 50 as well! Make a special gift today.

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