Environmental Protection

The Clean Water Act Celebrates its 40th Birthday

The Clean Water Act has accomplished significant achievements since it was first passed by Congress in 1972. For four decades, the legislation has helped protect and conserve wetlands, streams, rivers, and other waterways across the nation.

Hunters and anglers have supported strong Clean Water Act protections, understanding that clean water and healthy wetlands and streams are essential to healthy fish and wildlife. Today, we celebrate the historic results of this legislation: healthier water to drink, cleaner streams, rivers, and lakes, and dramatically lower rates of natural wetland loss. The Clean Water Act has cleaned up millions of miles of streams, small and large. Families, communities, farmers, and businesses depend on clean, healthy waters for their health, jobs, and prosperity.

“The Clean Water Act is essential to keeping our drinking water safe; providing millions of acres of fish and wildlife habitat across the country; ensuring abundant clean water for irrigating crops; and bolstering the robust fishery, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries, “stated Jan Goldman-Carter, National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager, Wetlands and Water Resources. “Clean water is a public right and fundamental in protecting our livelihoods, wildlife, communities, and economy.”

As the Clean Water Act turns 40, America must get back on the path to clean, healthy waters and wetlands. The administration must follow through on its comprehensive efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to wetlands, lakes, and streams in a science-based manner. The Clean Water Act will continue to strive to ensure drinkable, fishable, and swimmable waters across the nation.

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