This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, which is one of the most comprehensive environmental statutes in our country’s history. The enactment of these regulations has allowed us to preserve one of our most vital resources, and we should celebrate this monumental milestone for clean water.
Here in North Carolina, we take pride in having clean, accessible water for our residents, and as North Carolinians, it is our job to ensure that we are actively protecting our waterways. Wetlands and other aquatic ecosystems aid in water filtration, flood and erosion prevention, and are home to thousands of native species.
A great way to get involved in this fight and celebrate clean water is to volunteer for a local river cleanup. North Carolina houses hundreds of streams, waterways and tributaries, making it the perfect place for an event of this kind. I will be celebrating 50 years of clean water in style by cleaning up the wetlands in my area. You can visit Environment North Carolina’s website for more information about organizing your own cleanup and join the Clean Water Network.
— Callie Owens
Editor’s note: Owens reports working as an intern with Environment North Carolina and notes that additional information on local waterway cleanups can be found at Asheville GreenWorks’ website (avl.mx/bud).