Network Update on January 8, 2015 — With waterways under increasing threat from polluters and their allies in the new Congress, environmental groups announced today they that are reviving the Clean Water Network, the national network of local watershed groups working to protect rivers, lakes, and wetlands across America. The announcement comes on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the chemical spill that left 300,000 people in West Virginia without safe drinking water.
With 110 member organizations in 30 states so far, the Clean Water Network will provide training, policy expertise, and opportunities for coordinated action on key clean water issues – such as factory farms, fracking, and restoring the protections of the Clean Water Act to thousands of waterways across the nation. Originally founded in 1992, the Clean Water Network will now be housed at 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.
“As we mark the one-year anniversary of West Virginia’s drinking water contamination, today local watershed groups are coming together to defend and protect America’s waters,” said Kimberly Williams, Coordinator of the Clean Water Network and a member of its advisory board. “Today, Clean Water Network is providing a united voice to local watershed groups, the backbone of the clean water movement.”
Other members of the Network’s new advisory board issued the following statements:
“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,” said Jon Devine, a Senior Attorney in NRDC’s Water Program. “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.”
“Throughout its twenty 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,” said Jan Goldman-Carter, NWF’s Senior Manager, Wetlands and Water Resources. “We look forward to working closely with the Network to advance protections for the Nation’s waters in the years to come.”
“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,” said Rachel Conn, Projects Director of Amigos Bravos. “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.”
“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,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the four state organization the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “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.”
“Gulf Restoration Network is happy to be part of the revival of the Clean Water Network,” said Andrew Whitehurst, Water Program Director of Gulf Restoration 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.”