Hello River Citizens,
Have you ever stopped to think the water you drink might have once been inside a dinosaur, a cloud or even Albert Einstein? This is possible because water is constantly moving – from rain to rivers, drinking water to grey water, and even from octopus to orangutan and back again (with thousands of other variations in between).
We don’t really need scientists to tell us that when it rains, water collects in creeks and streams until those smaller streams merge into a larger river. When water moves downstream it carries excess fertilizer from farms, industry waste and chemicals from factories. Pollution like this keeps us from doing fun stuff like swimming and fishing and costs taxpayer money to make water safe to drink. All the while, polluters evade their responsibility for the consequences and abuse our shared natural resource.
Since the Clean Water Act was signed into law, rivers have stopped lighting on fire, thank goodness. But our work is far from over; there is still a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, 18 million people rely on the River for drinking water and there continue to be regular beach closings due to toxic water. These issues will only be addressed when we look at the River as a whole system, and take care of each part.
Just as there is no octopus without its arms, there is no clean Mississippi River without clean tributaries.
Hold Polluters Accountable
We have one more week to show our support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s clarification of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
We can have a robust economy and clean water; it is not an either or situation as the polluters would have you think. Exclusions and exemptions for agriculture will not change. This is not an overreach of authority; in fact the clarification does not protect any waters that were not part of the original Clean Water Act. Stakeholders, scientists and everyday people are showing a united front in support of clarifying the CWA.
Here are three ways YOU can support cleaner water for your backyard and the Mississippi River:
- Submit Formal Comments: We make it easy to send an email to the EPA and your elected officials to the show your support
for the streams and wetlands that so urgently need protection. We provide a letter, but you are welcome to edit and make it your own.
- Social Media Blitz: Join the members of the Mississippi River Network in a social media blitz on November 11th, to raise awareness in your community and share the opportunity to express support for clarifying the Clean Water Act . Use these sample tweets and Facebook posts, and retweet and share our posts as well as your local MRN members. Follow us on Twitter @1_Mississippi!
- Write a Letter to the Editor: Once the public comments are in, the discussions move behind closed doors, but we must keep pushing positive support for the Clean Water Act. This is important to maintain awareness and support decision makers who stand up to special interests to keep our water clean for future generations. Here is a letter you can send to your local paper. Feel free to edit this as well, and please send a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The entire River community has come together because we know the importance of clarifying the Clean Water Act to the health of the River. It is our responsibility to hold everyone accountable and stop pollution at the source.
Tributaries carry the water which flows together to create the Mississippi River. Distributaries are important because they:
a. Deliver the local Tribune
b. Deposit sediment creating land and habitat for people and wildlife
c. Provide offshoots of the main River for barge traffic
d. Disconnect the River from the ocean