Federal Clean Water Act
Clean, healthy waterways are vital to our day-to-day lives, central to our identity, and integral to our future. More than 50 years ago, the magnitude of pollution in the Androscoggin and other Maine rivers reached a tipping point, helping to galvanize passage of the Clean Water Act on October 18, 1972.
Maine's U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie played the critical role in writing and securing passage of this landmark legislation for the nation. In the years since, thanks to the incredible work of countless individuals, organizations, and businesses, Maine’s rivers, lakes, streams, and coastal waters have achieved remarkable progress, which deserves celebration. But we still have additional work to do to ensure clean water for future generations.
In 2022, NRCM joined with partners across Maine to create a statewide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act that focused on the importance of clean water, strong environmental laws, investment in clean water infrastructure, and committing to continued progress. At a celebration in Lewiston on September 29, 2022, we celebrated 100 Clean Water Champions. Read full remarks by NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim.
NRCM and our partners helped pass the Great American Outdoors Act, providing permanent funding for the popular and effective Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill, which was championed by every member of Maine’s Congressional delegation, also provided sorely needed funding to invest in maintenance and upkeep of popular national parks and public lands.
Fully funding LCWF will result in much-needed land conservation, public access improvements, local industry support, and the creation of more outdoor spaces that benefit us all and contribute to a vibrant economy.
Each species has an important ecological role to play in the web of life. Globally, one million species are at risk of extinction due to climate change, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species, and exploitation.
One tool that has and can continue to help address this biodiversity crisis is the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). The ESA, signed into law in 1972, has been incredibly successful at protecting species in Maine and across the nation from the brink of extinction.
NRCM is working with national environmental groups to support adequate funding for the ESA and additional funding for wildlife protection through proposals like the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.
Banner photo: Penobscot River by Pam Wells