By Tom Damm
The Clean Water Act is celebrating its 40th anniversary next week. Can’t think of the perfect gift? We’ve got some ideas.
- Save water around the home. Save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products and taking simple steps to conserve.
- Dig a rain garden or install a rain barrel. With a rain garden or a rain barrel, capture stormwater before it carries yard and street pollutants into sewer systems and out to local rivers and streams.
- Volunteer in your community. Find a watershed organization and volunteer to help. Use EPA’s Adopt Your Watershed to locate groups in your community. If you can’t find a group to join or want to organize your own activity, check out the Watershed Stewardship Toolkit with eight things you can do to make a difference in your watershed.
- Pick up after your pet. Pet waste contains nutrients and bacteria that can wash into local waterways if left on the ground.
- Do a stormwater stencil project. Stencil a message next to the street drain reminding people “Dump No Waste – Drains to River” with the image of a fish. Stencils are also available for lakes, streams, bays, ground water and oceans, as well as the simple “Protect Your Water” logo with the image of a glass and faucet.
To celebrate this big milestone in the life of the Clean Water Act, get involved. We can all do something to build on the remarkable strides made in water protection over the past four decades.
You can check out more items on the Clean Water Act’s “gift registry” here. And let us know of other steps you’ve taken to further clean and safe water.
About the Author: Tom Damm has been with EPA since 2002 and now serves as communications coordinator for the region’s Water Protection Division.