This past weekend I had occasion to reflect on my service as EPA’s water chief as I attended an internment of the ashes of my Uncle Richard and Aunt Ginger. They did many important and impressive things in their lives, but I remember them most for the gatherings they hosted at Stoner’s Lonesome, a small lake in Brown County, Indiana.
After the service at the cemetery, the extended family gathered at the lake for fishing, boating, swimming, and communion with one another. As we floated together in the clear, cool water reminiscing about summers past at Stoner’s Lonesome long ago, it reinforced my strongly held belief that our collective experience with water is not just about public health or environmental protection or economics, but also about quenching the soul, quieting the mind, and enriching the human spirit.
Tapping into that inner knowledge of the value of water to our lives will motivate us as a nation to come together to meet the challenges ahead. It has been my honor and privilege to be involved in that effort on behalf of the American public for the past four and a half years at EPA.