Tag Archives: Clean Water Act

UNITED STATES CLEAN WATER ACT TURNS 40

 

October 18th marks the 40th anniversary of the United States Clean Water Act.

What Is the Clean Water Act?
Here’s a look at what the Clean Water Act is and how this legislation is intended to address water pollution.

Answer: The Clean Water Act or CWA is the primary legislation in the United States that addresses water pollution. The goal of the Clean Water Act is to limit the release of high volumes of toxic chemicals into the nation’s water and ensure that surface waters met standards for sports and recreational use.The present legislation is based on the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments of 1972. Significant amendments were added in the Clean Water Act of 1977 and the Water Quality Act of 1987.

The following excerpts are from “A Bolder Clean Water Act for the Next 40 Years“, posted by Sandra Postel of National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative in Water Currents on October 17, 2012.
We recommend you read the full article at: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/17/a-bolder-clean-water-act-for-the-next-40-years/

…As game-changing laws go, the 1972 U.S. Clean Water Act ranks high. With images of rivers like the Cuyahoga burning and fish floating belly up in Lake Erie still fresh in the public’s mind, the Act transformed the nation’s relationship with fresh water.  It forbade cities and industries from using rivers and lakes as waste receptacles… The Act also set an ambitious goal: by 1985 the nation’s waters should be “fishable and swimmable.”  Although we missed that deadline, we are two-thirds of the way to achieving that goal… This year, as we celebrate the Act’s 40th anniversary, we can take pride in its accomplishments.  But after four decades, the Act needs to be given new teeth and updated tools, both to meet its original goals as well as to address new water challenges that have emerged since its passage.”


Development of the EPA, uploaded by on Feb 5, 2010

The following YouTube video, “Clean Water Act turns 40” is 1&1/4 hours in length. From the National Press Club in Washington, DC during May 2012 ~ Published on May 31, 2012 by

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AMERICA’S PROTECTED WATERWAYS

We highly recommend “AMERICA’S WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS” – a National Geographic article, published November, 2011 by Joel K. Bourne, Jr., and the associated Gallery of Photos of the Rivers photographed by Michael Melford (stunning!)

Links to the article, Photo Gallery and Michael Melford’s web site are listed at end of blog.

America‘s Spectacular Wild Rivers

These Scenic Waterways Thrive Under Federal Protection
in the United States


More than four decades after it became law, a little-known federal act safeguards hundreds of primordial waterways.

Photographs by Michael Melford

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River gorge is not so much a river as an exuberant expression of water at play… Today it is one of the ultimate white-water experiences in the United States, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

John Craighead, now 95, is legendary in the field of wildlife biology, … Yet the proudest achievement of John Craighead’s long and storied life, he says, is the passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

 … “It took a decade of reports, lectures, and political wrangling, but when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968, much of its language came from the Craigheads. The initial act spared eight rivers and narrow buffer zones around them from dams and development. Today the list has grown to more than 200 rivers in 39 states and Puerto Rico.”

Article link –

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/11/americas-wild-rivers/bourne-text

      Photo Gallery link –

http://bit.ly/rL1Ng4

       Michael Melford’s web site –

http://www.michaelmelford.com/