October Environmental Celebration
The 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act – October 17, 1972
This month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.
In the 1960’s, the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire at least a dozen times due to industrial pollution, leading to passage of the Clean Water Act. The objective of the act is to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation's waters, and provide monetary assistance to states to improve wastewater treatment and maintain wetlands.
Water pollution comes from many sources, including manufacturing processes, land use practices, storm water run-off, and wastewater releases. Some examples of health implications of water contamination are gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. Indigenous communities have fought industry and the government from contaminating their waters for many years.
The Iowa Environmental Council advocates for state and local policies to reduce water pollution, including consistent monitoring, benchmarks to measure progress and sustainable funding (www.iaenvironment.org). If you want to help gather data about local water quality, contact Partners of Scott County Watersheds and participate in their seasonal Snapshot Water Quality Monitoring events. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th from 8:00 am to 12 noon.
Other organizations of interest include: