DOVER, Del. –On June 2, 2015, an alliance of conservation groups, community leaders and academics have come together to rally for clean water initiatives at Legislative Hall.
Led by Delaware Nature Society, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the rally was part of the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice campaign that works to educate outdoor enthusiasts about the importance of investing in programs that will remove toxins from Delaware’s waterways, improve the water we drink and protect parks, open spaces, farms and wetlands.
Attendees included National Wildlife Federation CEO (and former DNREC Secretary) Collin O’Mara, Delaware State Senators David McBride and Bryan Townsend, local academic experts on clean water, community leaders from towns with significant water quality issues, and over 80 Delaware residents from every corner of the state.
“Investments in clean water are a win-win-win-win-win for Delaware—creating construction jobs, improving public health, strengthening our tourism economy, improving our resilience to flooding, and helping restore wildlife populations,” said Collin O’Mara, who advocated for clean water initiatives on the state and federal level. “With 94% of Delaware’s waterways not meeting health-based standards, now is the time to make the investments needed to ensure that every Delawarean has access to drinkable, swimmable, and fishable waters. As communities across the nation race to clean up polluted waterways and others struggle with droughts, the First State cannot afford to take our at-risk water resources for granted.”
“Water quality is important to every Delawarean. As Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Environmental Control Committee, I’ve heard from residents all over the state that have concerns about the water they drink, swim in, and use every day. We must secure funding for the clean water projects that would greatly improve our waterways, and this Rally garnered the attention of decision makers” commented Senator David McBride.
Senator Bryan Townsend added, “Clean water is one of the biggest economic, health, and moral issues of the 21st Century. Delaware can and should be a national leader on this issue. We have the technology to clean our water, and we can raise the resources to clean our water. The only missing ingredient is the political will to clean our water -- for our economy, our health, and for all current and future Delawareans.”
The rally included brief speeches from Senator McBride, Senator Townsend and NWF CEO Collin O’Mara; information on the work already being done to improve water quality in Delaware by conservation partners across the state; food trucks; face painting and all-around fun! After the rally, attendees met with their local legislators at Legislative Hall to advocate for secured funding for clean water initiatives.
The campaign will continue to engage organizations and individuals in their work and build support for clean water initiatives moving forward.
About the Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice Campaign
The Clean Water: Delaware’s Clear Choice Campaign has the mission of improving the quality of Delaware’s waterways and water treatment infrastructure to ensure a healthier environment and economy for years to come. Made up of the Clean Water Alliance, the campaign believes that securing funding for clean water can lead to a cleaner environment, healthier crops and food sources, improved economy, and increased tourism. By securing support for clean water initiatives throughout the state, we are securing a better, stronger Delaware. Clean water is truly Delaware’s clear choice.
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