American Rivers Experts Available for Comment on Clean Water Act 40th Anniversary

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This month marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, one of the nation’s most important laws protecting public health, wildlife, and the environment. Experts from American Rivers are available for comment in Washington, DC and nationwide.

We have a responsibility to leave a legacy of healthy rivers and clean water supplies for our children and grandchildren.

As the nation’s leading river conservation organization, American Rivers has experts in Washington, DC and around the country available for comment on stories about the Clean Water Act, and about challenges and opportunities facing rivers and river communities.

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 to protect and restore the health of the nation’s waters so that rivers, lakes and streams would be safe for drinking, swimming, fishing, and boating.

Thanks to the Clean Water Act, the U.S. has made great strides towards cleaning up its waterways:

  • The Clean Water Act revolutionized thinking about water pollution –making discharges into waters illegal unless authorized by a permit to control that pollution.
  • Chemical and industrial pollution has significantly decreased.
  • The loss of wetlands – which naturally filter pollution and prevent flooding – has been reduced by three-fourths.

Despite these successes, the U.S. still has a long way to go when it comes to ensuring clean water for all:

  • Polluted runoff -- water that runs off the land, picks up pollutants, and flows into rivers, lakes and streams -- remains a growing source of pollution in communities nationwide.
  • Every year more than 860 billion gallons of untreated sewage are discharged into U.S. waters through sewer overflows.
  • Polluters and their allies in Congress continue to try to undermine the Clean Water Act’s protections that safeguard public health and the health of the nation's rivers.

“Every American deserves clean water. We have a responsibility to leave a legacy of healthy rivers and clean water supplies for our children and grandchildren,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers.

“American Rivers is committed to defending the Clean Water Act so that communities nationwide can reap the many public health, economic, environmental, and recreational benefits of clean, healthy rivers.”


American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit, and

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Amy Kober
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