The Clean Water Act Through The Generations: Generation Y Series, Pt. 4
How has the Clean Water Act impacted your life? For those of us who weren’t alive when the Clean Water Act was passed into law in 1972, we interpret this law through the eyes of Generation Y.
My parents grew up in the same small town built along the Schuylkill River, before the Main Line begins, where the river twists and turns its way as it flows towards Philadelphia and meets the Delaware River.
My elementary school, Schuylkill Elementary, was built right by the river and learning how to spell this tricky Dutch word made for multiple spelling lessons. Supposedly meaning “hidden river,” the story goes that the original settlers of the area couldn’t find where the Schuylkill met the Delaware, hidden as it was by a small island that was overgrown with trees and bushes.
Without the Clean Water Act, I wouldn’t have been able to go swimming in the Schuylkill, or spend hours splashing along French Creek where my Dad and his siblings used to play.
The Clean Water Act represents a promise and an opportunity – that we should have clean water for swimming and fishing, and that we can fight to make sure that promise is kept. It’s “hidden rivers” like the Schuylkill, smaller and maybe not as well recognized, known best to the people who live near them, swim and fish in them, and boat on them that remind me why clean water, and the Clean Water Act, are so important.
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