Dear Friend of Potomac Riverkeeper Network,
The post-election power shift in Washington creates new challenges to our mission of keeping the Clean Water Act’s promise of swimmable, drinkable and fishable waters alive. If even a fraction of the campaign rhetoric becomes reality, we’re on the brink of the most dramatic federal regulatory rollbacks in decades. While our President-elect aims to break the gridlock or “drain the swamp” in Washington, we are deeply concerned that environmental protections will get caught in the cross-hairs: President-elect Trump has promised to dismantle the EPA “in almost every form”.
But Americans are still united in our vision for clean water and this is the ray of hope that I want to shine brightly as we dedicate this issue of our newsletter to the Clean Water Act. There is no law which deserves more credit for the 45 years of progress we’ve made in cleaning up the Potomac -- once considered a “national disgrace”.
Our ability to meet these new challenges is directly tied to your support and engagement.
Your greater support means stronger advocacy — more water monitoring for use in court against polluters, more yard signs alerting the public about raw sewage being dumped into our rivers, and more events that build appreciation for these unique and amazing rivers we love and work to protect— to name just a few. As details of the incoming administration’s plans to gut clean water protections come into focus, Americans are mobilizing en masse to financially support nonprofits as a critical counterbalance to this destructive agenda. I just hope people don’t overlook the small and regional groups. There’s no replacing the local grassroots actions that organizations like PRKN take to protect our own river’s most precious assets.
To this effect, your greater engagement is more critical than ever, as citizen action will undoubtedly be a key to resisting a runaway anti-environmental agenda. And I’m talking about “across the aisle” type engagement. As I’ve said many times we’re lucky that our membership is made up of an even mix of conservative and liberal thinkers and it’s this diversity in representation that makes us more relevant to our lawmakers than ever. We urge you to stay tuned to the “Riverkeeper Channel” (action alerts, enews, newsletters and social media) for the most valuable actions you can take to amplify your voice.
These election results will also demand increased vigilance in identifying and preventing polluters who will inevitably be emboldened by the cavalier attitude taken by the President-elect toward our natural resources. With your help, we’ll redouble our advocacy at the state and local level to protect what we cherish about the Potomac and Shenandoah. We will also work with Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Waterkeeper Alliance, and other regional and national partners to fight the attacks on the Federal Clean Water Act.
Together, we’ve accomplished a lot. Now we need your support to continue to be the voice of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers for future generations.
See you on the river,