Headquartered in Washington, DC, Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund operate programs nationally and locally from a network of state and regional field offices around the country. We have members, donors and activist volunteers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Learn more at www.cleanwateraction.org/states
2022 marked major Clean Water Action milestones.
We celebrated the Clean Water Act, which turned 50 — and our own 50th Anniversary. We also prepared for a successful executive transition, with longtime CEO Bob Wendelgass retiring after 32 years of service. Upon his exit, Bob vowed to continue to support the organization, citing “I won’t be leaving Clean Water Action — this work is too important!” In April 2023,
Bob officially passed the torch to incoming CEO Jeff Carter. While leadership has changed, our mission and vision remain the same.
Protecting Clean Water
Clean Water Action and allies organized the October event to defend protections for wetlands, small streams and drinking water sources against looming challenges before the nation’s highest court. Clean Water Action led efforts to strengthen and clarify these same protections. Our campaigns also helped secure long-overdue federal investments to rebuild crumbling water infrastructure and remove dangerous lead pipes from drinking water systems under 2022’s bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act.
Fighting PFAS Pollution
Clean Water Action is working state by state to win PFAS bans, phase-outs and “polluter-pay” cleanup solutions, building momentum with big policy wins and progress in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island, with additional states poised for action. Together with coalition partners, Clean Water Action has been calling on big box retailers and outdoor recreation clothing and equipment companies to stop selling consumer products tainted with PFAS chemicals. REI Coop was one of the businesses feeling and responding to consumer pressure.
Clean Water Fund & Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable programs inspire and mobilize voluntary action toward solutions. We educate and collaborate with local, state and federal agencies, provide direct assistance to businesses and institutions, and educate consumers. ReThink Disposable focuses on the most significant sources of single-use trash — throwaway food and beverage packaging, especially plastics. We help initiate and demonstrate success moving food service operations toward cost-saving and non-toxic reusables.
Making Democracy Work
Person to person organizing — visiting people at home, often with follow-up by phone or online — is a signature Clean Water Action strategy that continues to deliver powerful results. Hard-working crews like this one helped reach 250,000 households during the 2022 election season in Michigan alone. They recruited new members, and identified and turned out clean water voters on election day. Throughout 2022 Clean Water Action sent thousands of texts and email messages to our members, who in turn sent
tens of thousands of letters, postcards, emails and public comments to elected and appointed officials at every level. In dozens of close races, clean water voters turned out in record numbers to support pro-environment candidates. This is how we win for our water!