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Clean Water Act

If you've enjoyed getting out on the water with more concern for your shuttle than whether the river you're paddling is polluted, you likely have the Clean Water Act to thank.

Unfortunately, the lines of what's protected and what isn't under the Clean Water Act have been blurred for over eight years. In that time, there's been a great deal of uncertainty about whether over 60% of streams and millions of acres of wetlands across the country are protected by the Act.

This year, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have undertaken an important effort to bring clarity to which waters receive protection under the Clean Water Act. The agencies have developed a proposed rule, based on over one thousand peer reviewed studies, to clearly define what is protected. The clarity provided is vitally important to the 1 in 3 Americans who get their drinking water from streams and rivers with questionable protection, the businesses that rely on clean water to thrive, and the millions of people who enjoy water-based recreation across the country.

These efforts are long overdue, and American Whitewater encourages you to speak up in support of support clean water!

Please show your support by writing comments to the Army Corps and Environmental Protection Agency by November 14th. Comments can be submitted by e-mail to ow-docket@epa.gov or online. Also, you can help by contacting your Representatives and Senators and asking them to support the proposed rule.

When commenting, be sure first and foremost to speak personally about why clean water is important to you, whether it be boating, swimming, drinking water, etc…

Also consider the following points:

- Protecting headwater streams, creeks and wetlands means a healthier river downstream. Science shows that headwater streams and wetlands are connected to what's downstream.

- Over 117 million Americans get their drinking water from sources fed by streams that are vulnerable to pollution created by the regulatory uncertainty. These same streams offer world-class recreation opportunities that improve the quality of life and economic viability for countless communities.

- Healthy headwater streams and wetlands are essential for flood protection and fish and wildlife.

- Clean water is vitally important to a strong economy and healthy businesses.

American Whitewater supports the rule, and encourages you to weigh in. Submit your comments by November 14th about the proposed rule online or by e-mail to ow-docket@epa.gov. It will also help to contact your Congressional representatives too.

Stay tuned to American Whitewater for our comments. For more information about the rule, visit www.epa.gov/uswaters.