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Help Save our Nation’s Great Waters
On June 30, Senators on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee approved a series of restoration bills that will help many of America’s Great Waters, including the Puget Sound, the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, the Columbia River, the Gulf of Mexico, the Long Island Sound, the San Francisco Bay, and many of the nation’s estuaries.
Our Great Waters, which include ecosystems from the Gulf of Maine to Coastal Louisiana, are the nation’s crown jewels. We depend on them for food, drinking water, transportation, energy, recreation, and for our sense of regional and national identity.
For decades, we’ve inadequately protected our Great Waters, despite their importance. Nutrient and toxics pollution, invasive species, altered water flows, development, climate change, and loss of habitat have taken their toll and degraded water quality. These problems seriously threaten the viability of these waterbodies, their inhabitants, and the invaluable, life-sustaining economic and ecosystem benefits they provide.
The bills, now set to move to the Senate floor, provide desperately needed funding for restoration plans across the country. Some of these bills address major gaps in the Clean Water Act that have not been remedied in the nearly 40 years since the Act was first signed into law.