This Election Matters for Rivers
Americans value clean water and healthy rivers. Clean water consistently ranks as the top environmental concern among American voters, according to Gallup. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a blue state or a red state, or whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican – we all need clean water to drink, and we want healthy rivers where we can swim, fish, and paddle with our children and grandchildren.
Here’s a quick snapshot of why rivers matter:
- Rivers provide roughly 60 percent of our drinking water
- America’s rivers support a wide variety of wildlife and fish, and are especially important during times of breeding and migration.
- Healthy rivers are good for the economy. Americans spend $646 billion annually on outdoor recreation, and paddlesports and fishing contribute significant economic benefits to local communities.
On November 6, think about why rivers matter to you — because this election will have a real impact on rivers and clean water across our country. Bills have already been introduced that would gut Clean Water Act protections, and make it much harder for communities to restore their rivers.
If Congress rolls back critical laws and cuts funding for rivers and clean water, here’s what it will look like:
- More pollution – from sewer overflows and runoff from city streets – in our rivers and streams, threatening public health and the health of fish and wildlife
- More unsafe dams threatening rivers and communities with failure and flooding
- More harmful development threatening wild rivers, wildlife, and recreation opportunities
American Rivers has a long history of working with both parties and reaching across the aisle to develop solutions for our country’s rivers and river communities. As the nation’s voice for rivers, we will continue to reach out to decision makers and elected officials to help them understand how their actions impact river health.
Speak up for rivers and vote clean water. Candidates need to hear that rivers matter to you. And no matter what happens on November 6, let’s work to ensure healthy rivers and clean water are a priority in 2013 and beyond.