Izaak Walton League Press Releases

Launch of America's Great Water Coalition (12/8/09)

Coalition Unites to Restore Water Ecosystems to Protect People, Wildlife, and the Economy

Washington, DC (December 8, 2009) – An alliance representing more than 30 organizations came together today with lawmakers from across the nation to launch America’s Great Waters Coalition, representing 9 of the largest water ecosystems in 27 of the lower 48 states—and involving nearly half of the country’s population.

From the Chesapeake to Puget Sound, from the Great Lakes to the Everglades—the nation’s great waters are the backbone of America’s economy and way of life. However, America’s great waters face urgent threats, including sewage contamination, invasive species, habitat destruction and climate change. The nation’s commitment to our great waters has not kept pace with these urgent threats, impacting people, businesses, communities and wildlife.

“The degradation of our nation’s great waters has a serious environmental and economic impact on our communities,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “I look forward to working with America’s Great Waters Coalition to improve these important ecosystems.”

To restore the water ecosystems that sustain people, wildlife and the economy, America’s Great Waters Coalition is speaking with a united voice to act now, before the problems get worse and the solutions more costly.

“Research has found that cleaning up the Great Lakes and its waterways—by improving water and sewer infrastructure, restoring and preserving wetlands and coastal habitats, and cleaning up toxic areas—would create jobs and inject billions of dollars into the regional economy,” said Jennifer S. Vey, fellow, Brookings Institution. “This indicates that directing public investments toward improving the health of all of the nation’s Great Waters—from the Chesapeake to the San Francisco Bay—simply makes good economic sense.”

"I applaud the efforts of America’s Great Waters Coalition to preserve and protect water resources such as the Long Island Sound, which has sustained New York and Connecticut communities for hundreds of years,” said Congressman Tim Bishop (D-NY), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “These resources must be properly maintained for future generations.”

The America’s Great Waters Coalition is an alliance of more than 30 national, regional, state, and local organizations working to protect, preserve, and restore America’s Great Waters, which include, but are not limited to, the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Louisiana, the Everglades, Great Lakes, Gulf of Maine, Long Island Sound, Mississippi River, Puget Sound, San Francisco/Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

America’s Great Waters Coalition includes the following organizations: Alliance for the Great Lakes, American Rivers, Audubon New York, Biodiversity Project, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment, Committee on Middle Fork Vermilion River, Corsica River Conservancy, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, Everglades Law Center, Florida Wildlife Federation, Freshwater Future, Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, Gulf of Maine Restoration and Conservation Initiative, Gulf Restoration Network, Illinois Council of Trout Unlimited, Indiana Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League of America, Lake Erie Region Conservancy, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, Milwaukee Riverkeeper, National Audubon Society, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, People for Puget Sound, Planning and Conservation League, Restore America’s Estuaries, Save The Bay – San Francisco, Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, Sierra Club, The Watershed Center - Grand Traverse Bay, The Wetlands Initiative, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Trout Unlimited, Washington Wildlife Federation, Western Lake Erie Waterkeeper Association.

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