Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice Campaign

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Mallard at the DuPont Environmental Education Center. Photo by Abby Barber

Walking your dog along the trails at Ashland Nature Center, bird watching off the boardwalk at the DuPont Environmental Education Center, picking vegetables at Coverdale Farm Preserve, and canoeing on the Abbott’s Mill pond are a big part of Delaware Nature Society’s community. All of these activities also depend on our waterways being clean and healthy.

As the Delaware affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation, improving water quality is a strategic focus for Delaware Nature Society because clean water is critical to our economy, environment, wildlife, food source, and public health.

Through our leadership of a group of diverse stakeholders such as local businesses, trade groups, conservation organizations, and state universities, Delaware Nature Society is leading a campaign to educate outdoor enthusiasts about the importance of investing in programs that will remove toxins from Delaware’s waterways, improve the water we drink and protect parks, open spaces, farms and wetlands.

 

Locals enjoying paddling on the water. Photo by Delaware Nature Society

In this economy, it’s hard to locate available funding in existing state and local budgets to make investments in our waterways possible. That’s exactly why our campaign is working hard to illustrate the importance of dedicating funding for clean water initiatives in Delaware.

Dedicated funding for clean water ensures a better, stronger Delaware. Many of Delaware’s waterways are polluted due to failing infrastructure, population growth, and legacy contamination from chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful substances. Additionally, funding for programs related to updating infrastructure, protecting lands, and cleaning up legacy pollution have stayed stagnate, dwindled, or were eliminated altogether.

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Delaware residents show their support for Clean Water at events across the State. Photo by Delaware Nature Society

While the state has made great strides to address our water quality impairments, there are still millions of dollars worth of projects and infrastructure that need to be funded. Delawareans resoundingly believe its residents and government can work together to improve the quality of our water. According to a 2014 poll, 82% of Delawareans believe the pollution problem in Delaware’s waterways can be improved and think the State of Delaware can do more.

On June 2, 2015, Delaware Nature Society, with our partners, organized Delaware’s first Clean Water Rally. The Rally featured educational displays from our Alliance members, provided refreshments from local food trucks, had a photo booth where folks could take pictures illustrating the importance of clean water in their own lives, and allowed for participants to interact with their elected officials to share their “clean water story.”

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2015 1st Annual Clean Water Rally, Dover Delaware. Photo by Delaware Nature Society

Over 100 participants attended the Clean Water Rally, including our Clean Water Supporters and Alliance members. The event also featured speeches from National Wildlife Federation President Collin O’Mara and prominent legislators including Senate Majority Leader and Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee David McBride; and the prime sponsor of Clean Water legislation Senator Bryan Townsend.

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Delaware residents show their support for Clean Water at events across the State. Photo by Delaware Nature Society

Through our hard work to raise awareness and support for dedicated clean water funding, a legislative resolution passed Delaware’s General Assembly creating a Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force. Meeting monthly, the task force, which is made up of over 30 organizations, businesses, legislators, and corporations, is charged with identifying and recommending sustainable funding mechanisms to reduce flooding and improve our water quality.

Dedicated funding for clean water will ensure a better, stronger Delaware.

Ensuring that our waterways and water systems are clean for wildlife and communities is a nationwide priority. Advocate for clean water where you are by organizing a Clean Water Rally in your community! Check out our Clean Water Campaign or “Like” us on Facebook for more information on how you can show your support for clean water.

 

BrennaAbout the Author: As the Advocacy Manager for the Delaware Nature Society (DNS), Brenna Goggin is responsible for all of DNS’s grassroots advocacy and government affairs work. She is the liaison between the organization and government officials, and promotes the organization both in Dover and D.C. Brenna has actively worked on securing full funding for the Open Space and Farmland Preservation programs as well as the Statewide Recycling law and the Interstate Wildlife Violator’s Compact. Since her start with DNS in 2008, Brenna has served on various state committees such as the Recycling Public Advisory Committee, Freshwater Wetland Advisory Committee, and the Sea Level Rise Advisory Council.

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