Conservation Currents

In This Issue


Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

Mountains and waterForty years ago, the country was plagued with burning rivers, dead lakes, and industrial pollution that choked waterways large and small. Americans demanded action, and Congress responded with the Clean Water Act. Water quality has improved significantly since then. We've made major strides in reducing point source pollution – pollution that comes from a pipe or specific industrial source. However, our country still faces major water quality challenges, and the progress we've made is threatened because Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other waters have been weakened and undermined.

The 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act is a time to celebrate how far we've come and recommit ourselves to meeting the remaining challenges head-on. EPA has a special anniversary Web site – www.epa.gov/cleanwater40 – that offers resources you can use to educate and engage your community on water issues. This is a milestone that League members can be proud to celebrate. And Ikes can take credit for being a strong voice for clean water since 1922.

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Senate Bill Would Stall Clean Water Restoration

Irrigation runoffAs the country celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, some U.S. Senators want to block even limited efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other waters. Last week, Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced the misnamed "Preserve the Waters of the United States Act" (S 2245). It won't preserve any waters; instead, it would block EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from moving forward with science-based policy to partially restore Clean Water Act protections for waters in our communities. As a leading proponent of restoring these protections, the League strongly opposes the Barrasso bill.

It's important that Senators hear from constituents like you who value clean water and healthy streams and wetland habitat. Please tell your Senators today that you oppose this legislation. Visit the League's online Advocacy Center to take action.

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League Testifies on Budget Priorities

U.S. long grain riceAfter the president submits his annual budget proposal, appropriations committees in the U.S. House and Senate begin the process of writing bills that determine exactly how much money will be available to implement federal programs and services.

The League is submitting written testimony on funding for key conservation priorities. To date, we have weighed in on critical agriculture programs, funding for habitat restoration along the Upper Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, Great Lakes restoration, expanded research on invasive Asian carp, and the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on natural resources and local communities. Our testimony on these and other critical conservation issues is available on the Advocacy page of the League Web site.

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EPA Proposes Carbon Dioxide Rule

On March 27, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the first national limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new power plants. Power plants are the nation's largest source of carbon pollution, which contributes to climate change, endangers wildlife, and increases public health risks including asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Coal plantThe "New Source Performance Standard" would limit power plant emissions to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of electricity produced. New coal-fired power plants will need to use carbon capture and storage technology to comply with the new standard. A wide range of existing sources of electricity – including nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy – already meet or exceed this standard.

EPA has twice been ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to regulate CO2 and has promised it will set standards for new and existing power plants. (The standard for existing power plants has not yet been proposed.)

A 60-day public comment period will start once the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. The League supports this rule and will make draft comments available through our online Advocacy Center. In the meantime, you can read more about the proposed rule on the EPA Web site.

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Summer of Paddling

Canoeing familiesThe Izaak Walton League is partnering with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal, state, and local organizations on a new America's Great Outdoors initiative. The "2012 Summer of Paddling: 1 River, 10 States, 100 Events" will offer paddling events along the Mississippi River all summer.

This is a great way to engage your community in outdoor recreation and build a love for a river that has been central to the League's conservation mission since 1922. You can also connect with potential members and build partnerships with community organizations. Hosting a paddling event is easy, even if your chapter doesn't own canoes or kayaks. Look to local businesses, paddling clubs, or sporting goods stores to help with your equipment and expertise needs.

You can also put an Izaak Walton League spin on a scheduled Summer of Paddling event by offering fishing, archery, or other outdoor activities along with it. Find an event near you or register your paddling event on the Summer of Paddling Web site.

Need ideas for putting together your Mississippi River Summer of Paddling event? E-mail Olivia Dorothy, the League's Upper Mississippi River Coordinator.

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Creak Freaks Workshop: July 21, 2012

Creek Freaks IA - Leah Miller in stream with kidsMaking your National Convention travel plans? Plan to attend our Creek Freaks workshop the Saturday after convention. Participants will learn how to connect children ages 10-14 with nature using streams as living classrooms, including concepts of stream ecology, how to run hands-on stream exploration activities, and using the Creek Freaks Web site to enter stream data, photos, and videos. The workshop includes a demonstration of how to use chemical, physical, and biological protocols to monitor water quality.

Whether you are looking for hands-on activities for an existing youth program or you want to start a new program at your chapter, Creek Freaks is an excellent way to share your love of the outdoors with kids in your community.

Event Details: Saturday, July 21, 2012, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska. $30 registration fee includes lunch and training materials. Please dress for the outdoors and bring waders if you have them. E-mail IWLA Clean Water Program Director Leah Miller for more information and to put your name on the preregistration list.

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League Conservation Director Reappointed to Fishing and Boating Council

Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council logoOn March 22, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reappointed Scott Kovarovics, the League's Conservation Director, to the Sportfishing and Boating Partnership Council. The Council advises the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a range of recreational fishing, boating, and conservation issues.

In making the appointments, Secretary Salazar said, "With its vast experience and expertise in boating, fishing, and conservation, the Council will continue to play a vital role in achieving the goals of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative to foster a 21st century approach to conservation and outdoor recreation."

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Virginia Save Our Streams Results

Citizens in every state have the right to know whether or not their streams are safe for swimming, fishing, and playing and as sources of drinking water. Through the League's Virginia Save Our Streams program (VA SOS), volunteers monitor water quality across the state and educate the public about how their actions affect the waters in their communities.

Virginia SOS volunteersIn 2011, VA SOS volunteers monitored 100 sites on 74 streams. Over the course of the year, they took samples during 217 monitoring events. Approximately 50 percent of the samples indicated unacceptable water quality and another 10 percent required further investigation.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) relies on volunteers to provide the most accurate picture of how clean streams are across the state and uses this data in its report to Congress on water quality. In fact, VA SOS volunteers will supply 12 percent of the data DEQ will include in its 2012 report to Congress. Data also are used locally by volunteers to identify pollution problems and evaluate the success of stream restoration projects.

To become a VA SOS volunteer monitor, visit the Virginia Save Our Streams Web site.

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National Award Nomination Deadline Approaching!

Margaret Schultz receives the Conservation Award at the 2011 conventionThe League's national awards program offers all League members the opportunity to recognize their peers for life-long conservation work at the local, regional, state, and national levels. It is also an opportunity for members to learn from each other about successful conservation projects and programs. Nomination Deadline: June 1, 2012.

  • IWLA National Awards: From new leaders to life-long conservation advocates, our national awards recognize members and supporting organizations for the work they do to accomplish the League's mission.
  • Chapter Member Recruitment Award: This award recognizes the chapter that has carried out the most effective membership recruitment and retention program.

Visit the League's National Awards Web page for nomination forms and more details. Questions? Contact Tara Scibelli at (800) IKE-LINE (453-5463) x255 or e-mail chapters@iwla.org.

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"Ikes on Target" Newsletter

Ikes on Target volume 1, issue 1

Don't miss our new quarterly newsletter specifically for League chapters that operate firearms or archery facilities.


90 Years of Defending Outdoor America

To commemorate the League's 90th anniversary, we are proud to announce our "$90 for 90" campaign. Donate $90 or more to the League, and you will receive our limited-edition Snapshots in Conservation anthology.

Snapshots in Conservation booklet

Your contribution will also support the League's national conservation work. Please visit the League Web site for more information.


Resource of the Month: Zebco Fishing Discount

The League has partnered with Zebco to help chapters and divisions purchase fishing poles at a significant discount for use at fishing derbies and other outreach events.

Click here for a PDF order form.


IWLA Marketplace

Check out the IWLA Store for League tote bags, hats, umbrellas, and t-shirts!


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Contact Information

If you have any questions about this newsletter or other IWLA programs, please contact:

Dawn Merritt
Communications Director
707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 548-0150 ext. 220
dmerritt@iwla.org

Founded in 1922, the
Izaak Walton League of America
protects America's outdoors through community-based conservation, education, and the promotion of outdoor recreation.


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