A letter about Illinois water

Editor’s note: Please support and utilize the ELPC’s new Illinois water website. While the work of the ELPC is impactful and meaningful, the center’s support of industrial wind installations in Illinois is mistaken. Please urge Mr. Learner and the staff of ELPC to take a thousand second looks at the effect of big wind on the natural web of life, the rural (and irreplaceable) viewscape, and the long-term health effects on us fallible humans, stewards of nature and ourselves.

From Howard A. Learner
Environment Law & Policy Center (ELPC), Executive Director

Dear Readers,

Forty years ago, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act in response to the largely unchecked pollution into our nation’s rivers, lakes and streams. We’ve come a long way since then. However, restoring and protecting the nation’s waterways to be “fishable and swimmable,” to protect safe drinking water, and to provide people with recreational opportunities for enjoyment is an ongoing mission. ELPC proudly pursues these goals today.

On the Clean Water Act’s 40th Anniversary, ELPC is pleased to launch InIllinoisWater.org ­— an innovative new education and advocacy web site about water quality issues in Illinois.

From Macomb to McHenry, Illinois is home to challenging water pollution problems both urban and rural, but it is also home to some pristine waterways and to farmers, families, anglers, kayakers and community leaders who are trying to make a difference. The InIllinoisWater.org site provides helpful interactive tools to further their cause:

• You can make a difference by taking action on the issues presented in each story by communicating with your local and state decision makers. Go to http:// www.inillinoiswater.org/take-action

• You can submit your own stories and photos for publication to further raise awareness about water quality issues important to Illinois’ communities. Go to http://www.inillinoiswater.org/our-stories

Please join us in promoting safe, clean waters in Illinois by using these tools and asking your friends and family to do the same.

This isn’t just about Illinois’ water or environment. It’s about Illinois’ citizens. Farmers and business owners who are trying to do the right thing. Families who are enjoying the outdoors together. Community leaders who want to demonstrate why clean, safe water is a basic right for us all and why we all have the responsibility to be good stewards.

Please enjoy reading, watching, listening to, and acting on these stories about Illinois people working to protect our lakes and rivers and provide clean water for us all. Let’s work together to make a difference for clean water in Illinois — and achieve the Clean Water Act’s long-standing goals.

From the Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2012, issue

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