The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put forward some great facts about their clean water protection rule that every supporter of clean water should read. The clean water protection rule—or Waters of the United States Rule—has been subjected to unfair, outlandish, and completely untrue statements from the Farm Bureau and others. This page addresses some of those statements and also explains why this clean water protection rule is important and necessary. If you are interested in learning more, the EPA will host a webinar, Wednesday, July 16, 2014 from 3-4p EST.
In case you missed this past week in Great Lakes conservation news:
A University of Michigan researcher warns that an oil spill under the Straits of Mackinac would be disastrous, reports The Detroit Free Press. The Enbridge oil pipelines running through the Straits are 61 years old.
The Green Bay Press Gazette reports on a grant awarded to the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to restore Bradley Lake. The lake’s water quality had become degraded due to polluted storm runoff and invasive species.
The Buffalo News reports on the progress and setbacks in environmental legislation in New York State. While the state legislature in Albany made progress in addressing issues such as climate change and invasive species, it failed to join Illinois in banning household products containing microbeads.
Ohio has launched a new initiative called Healthy Water Ohio, according to the Toledo Blade. The program will put a renewed focus on restoring and protecting Ohio’s water resources, covering areas including drinking water, agriculture, and shipping.
Peter Wege, founder of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, died on Monday at the age of 94. Wege, a Grand Rapids businessman, was a lifelong environmentalist and Great Lakes advocate. With his support and leadership, the Wege Foundation provided significant resources in 2004 to start the Coalition and unite the region around the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. His support was instrumental in making Great Lakes restoration a national priority. Over the last five years, the federal government has invested more than $1.6 billion to restore a resource that more than 30 million people depend on for drinking water.
“On behalf of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and our members, we wish to express our sorrow for the passing of Peter Wege,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “At the same time, it brings us great joy to celebrate the life of a man who was a strong voice for conservation – whose passion and commitment led directly to the betterment of the Great Lakes. His actions have benefited millions of people and will continue to do so well into the future.”
The Grand Rapids Press contains a thoughtful retrospective of Peter Wege’s life.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – A U.S. House appropriations subcommittee yesterday released a funding bill that maintains Great Lakes restoration funding, but cuts investments to halt sewage contamination and rolls back essential Clean Water Act protections.
“The bill is a step in the right direction for the Great Lakes, but more work is needed,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “While funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is most welcome, we are disappointed in cuts to core programs that will severely inhibit the ability of cities to invest in infrastructure desperately needed to curtail sewer overflows throughout the region. Further, rolling back essential Clean Water Act protections undermines restoration efforts and undercuts a rulemaking process currently underway.” More >
Read the Latest Field Work Update: Ohio groups take Rep. David Joyce on a Restoration Tour of the Ashtabula River
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition works closely with several member organizations in five targeted states to achieve our goal of restoring the Great Lakes. The work our member organizations do in the field is the backbone of our campaign – it amplifies our impact throughout the Great Lakes region. Read our latest fieldwork update out of Ohio: groups took Rep. David Joyce and his staff on a tour of the Ashtabula River. While the river is still an area of concern, recent improvements made thanks to federal funding have brought the area closer to delisting. Read more here.