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Izaak Walton League Honors Volunteer Stream Monitors on Earth Day 2019

04/19/2019

Izaak Walton League Honors Volunteer Stream Monitors on Earth Day
Invites More Volunteers To Join the Clean Water Challenge

Gaithersburg, MD – Healthy streams and rivers are vital to healthy communities. Yet most Americans don’t know if local streams are safe for swimming, fishing, or as sources of drinking water. That’s because there is a critical need for up-to-date water quality information. Through our Clean Water Challenge, the Izaak Walton League is working to train and mobilize thousands of new stream monitors to gather that information.

Threats to water quality today are just as serious as when the Clean Water Act was passed – they’re just harder to see. Polluted runoff from farm fields, parking lots, industrial sites, and yards across America flows unchecked and untreated into our streams and rivers. This runoff carries animal waste, bacteria, cancer-causing chemicals, and other pollutants through our communities.

Yet according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), nearly 70% of our nation’s streams are not adequately monitored for pollution. Of the fraction that are, more than half do not meet basic safety standards for fishing, swimming, or as sources of drinking water. What’s worse, EPA now wants to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for up to 70% of small streams nationwide, leaving them with no federal protection from pollution. Some states have laws that would kick in to protect water resources. But in many states, the Clean Water Act is the only thing standing between polluters and local water resources, including drinking water sources.

This Earth Day, the Izaak Walton League invites every American to stand up for clean water in their communities by joining the Clean Water Challenge. It’s critical that we find out what’s in our water now and monitor streams across America into the future – and share what we find with others in our communities, local government agencies, and policymakers. Cleaning up trash along roads and streams, taking a Stream Selfie, using less water every day, and limiting your use of yard chemicals are also great ways to help protect water quality in your community.

The Izaak Walton League celebrates Earth Day every day! Will you join us? To learn more about the Clean Water Challenge, visit the League’s website at www.iwla.org/challenge.  

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 Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America (www.iwla.org) protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.