Water Advocates Flood DC

LCC's Executive Director and other members of the America's Great Waters Coalition discussed water issues with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Photo by National Parks Conservation Association.

LCC Executive Director Lori Fisher spent a few days in Washington DC last month with colleagues from the America's Great Waters Coalition. Organized by the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Wildlife Federation, the Coalition includes representatives from the Chesapeake Bay, the Great Lakes, Everglades, Puget Sound, New York/New Jersey Harbor, the Gulf of Maine, and Mississippi River, Lake Champlain and other great waters across the nation. The Coalition works "to protect, preserve and restore the waterways that are the lifeblood of our nation, driving regional economies. . . and shaping the daily lives of Americans". The group met with members of Congress, and representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Agriculture, and the Council of Environmental Quality to press for action to improve the health of our waterways. Threats from oil transport, nutrient loading and climate change, as well as the need for funding for water quality restoration and protection were all on the agenda.

Additionally the Coalition discussed the Clean Water Rule which was recently finalized by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers. The Rule, which protects streams and wetlands that are scientifically shown to have the greatest impact on downstream water quality, is being attacked by the national Farm Bureau and industry lobbying groups. LCC testified in favor of the rule at regional hearings and remains a strong advocate. "The issues of concern in our region affect waterways around the country and are of national scope," noted Fisher. "LCC will continue to advocate for regional and national measures to protect and improve water quality."