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From the Field: Clean Water Rally

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Swim, Drink, Fish — Clean Water!

This was the rallying cry at the Rally for Clean Water, held last Saturday, September 15, at the Georgetown Waterfront. The Rally celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a piece of landmark legislation passed in 1972 that protects and regulates standards for America’s waterways. The event was co-sponsored by Catalogue’s Potomac Riverkeeper, as well as Waterkeeper Alliance, Blue Legacy, Waterkeepers Chesapeake and Earthjustice. Hundreds of community members joined the celebration for the morning paddle, speaker series, and river clean up. We (Marie and Sherika) spent the morning at the Rally, both enjoying the beauty of the Potomac River during the paddle and volunteering during the speaking portion of the rally.

While Potomac Riverkeeper and other nature-based Catalogue nonprofits fight for a cleaner environment all year long, this weekend marked a special moment as the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists from across the region (and even the country) gathered to celebrate the achievements in cleaner water since 1972, but also to reflect on the many ways in which our water supply still demands attention and protection. Last week, in a lead up to the Rally, Blue Legacy facilitated a panel discussion on the “Clean Water Act — 40 Years Later.” Speakers, including architects of the Clean Water Act and representatives from the EPA and nonprofit sector, commented on the current political climate’s adverse effects on environmental legislation and the urgent need to ensure that the Clean Water Act is strengthened to continue protecting our water.

As we were reminded throughout the weekend, anyone who lives in the Greater Washington area is mostly made of Potomac River water. This means we all have a large incentive and stake in making sure that our waterways and rivers are clean and healthy for many years to come. To find out more about other Catalogue nonprofits that work to protect our environment, check out Nature Nonprofits in our online catalogue.

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