The 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act

“In rivers, what you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of what is to come”

Leonardo da Vinci


Water is a special, vital, irreplaceable resource that we use daily for our health, community, environment, and economy. Concern over this resource more than 40 years ago prompted the Clean Water Act (CWA) of 1972. That makes this fall of 2012 the 40th anniversary of the CWA!

The CWA set a new national goal “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters”, making all waters fishable and swimmable where possible. The way that CWA seeks to reach this goal is by regulating discharges into waterways, which is accomplished through the work of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We have made great progress in reducing pollution and restoring polluted waterways, but we still face challenges. Our own Bear Creek that runs through the Rogue Valley faces its own challenges. Those challenges affect not only us, as we use this water for agriculture, recreation, and drinking water, but also all of the animals that depend on this water as well.

Check out the EPA’s “Water is worth it” website by clicking here to:

  • learn more about the CWA
  • access K-12 educational resources,
  • and to enter a video contest

We all depend on water, we have an impact on it, and we are all responsible for making a positive difference (no matter how small!) in the health of our water.


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