2022 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act — one of the most effective U.S. laws ever enacted and a model for clean water laws across the globe. By establishing citizens’ right to enforce it, the Clean Water Act served as a powerful tool to end the culture of dumping raw sewage and industrial waste into our rivers without consideration of public health, public use, or environmental repercussions. The Clean Water Act sought to ensure every American had access to safe, clean water, but that promise is not yet fulfilled.
Here’s Waterkeepers Florida Clean Water Act 50 Report. See page 10 on Apalachicola Riverkeeper.
Overwhelmingly, Americans support clean water, healthy waterways, and safe drinking water for ourselves and our children, yet the Clean Water Act’s legacy is incomplete and important provisions are constantly under attack. Florida’s waters are continually plagued by harmful algae blooms. 2021 set a new record for manatee deaths due to starvation caused by poor water quality. Florida ranks first in the U.S. for total acres of lakes classified as impaired for swimming and aquatic life and second for total square miles of impaired estuaries.
Across the United States, the Clean Water Act lies at the heart of the Waterkeeper movement. We have a shared set of goals – drinkable, swimmable, fishable water. Florida Waterkeepers will continue to defend fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for all.