Clean Water Network relaunches

From Environment Illinois

CHICAGO — With waterways like Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River under increasing threat from factory farm pollution and fracking, and with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency poised to restore Clean Water Act protections to more than half of the nation’s streams, Environment Illinois has joined environmental groups across the country in announcing they are reviving the Clean 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 its members with 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 an Advisory Board representing 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 Lake Michigan is to our community,” said Wouter Hammink, clean water organizer with Environment Illinois. “To prevent disasters like this in our state, Environment Illinois is joining with allies across the country to fight for clean water protections.”

Kimberly Williams, coordinator of the Clean Water Network, said: “Relaunching the Clean Water Network means building an arsenal of grassroots support for clean water. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be giving a united voice to local watershed groups, the backbone of the clean water movement.”

Jon Devine, a senior attorney in NRDC’s Water Program, said: “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. 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.”

Jan Goldman-Carter, NWF’s senior manager, Wetlands and Water Resources, said: “Throughout its 20-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. We look forward to working closely with the network to advance protections for the nation’s waters in the years to come.”

Rachel Conn, projects director of Amigos Bravos, said: “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. 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.”

Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the four-state organization the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said: “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. 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.”

Andrew Whitehurst, water program director of Gulf Restoration Network, added: “Gulf Restoration Network is happy to be part of the revival of the Clean Water Network. 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.”

Posted Jan. 8, 2015

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