Clean Water!   


For More Information: 

Adam Johnston
Alabama Rivers Alliance
Mark Berte
Alabama Coastal Foundation

Alabama’s river advocates celebrate 40th anniversary of Clean Water Act

Groups will toast landmark environmental legislation, raising a glass to clean water

Birmingham, Ala. October 18, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, America’s primary federal law protecting its waterways from pollution. Two of Alabama’s statewide water protection organizations, Alabama Coastal Foundation and Alabama Rivers Alliance, along with a diverse group of their partner organizations, will host a celebration to toast this landmark legislation and the positive effects that it has had on rivers in Alabama and the rest of the United States.
The celebration will include live music from the Oxymorons and fresh seafood from the Fish Market Restaurant. Beverages on hand for toasting will be local beer from Good People Brewing Company, organic wine from JohnnyGreenSeeds Wines, and clean, fresh drinking water. Participants can purchase tickets for only $10.
“This bedrock law is a shining example of successful, balanced regulation,” said Cindy Lowry, executive director of the Alabama Rivers Alliance. “It has not inhibited growth, yet has protected and restored our vital water resources for 40 years. I'm proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary with the groups and citizens who have worked tirelessly to ensure the clean water act continues to work in Alabama protecting our rivers and our communities.”
“We are very excited to be in Birmingham to celebrate with others in the state on this special occasion,” said Mark Berte, executive director of the Alabama Coastal Foundation. “The Clean Water Act is an important law, and this anniversary is a great time to look at how far our waterways have come and also how much farther we have to go in keeping them protected.”
Since the Clean Water Act’s passage in 1972, pollution in river systems from sources like sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities has been dramatically reduced.  In 1970, point-source contaminants accounted for 85% of the pollutants in our waters, and today account for only 15%. The rate of wetland loss has declined by 90% since the 1970’s. However, many challenges still remain. When the act was passed, its goal was to render 100% of the nation’s waters “fishable and swimmable” over the next thirteen years. Today, forty years later, nearly half of all rivers, lakes, and streams are still not clean enough for those uses.
“This is why Alabama’s river community is so critical,” said Adam Johnston, grassroots organizer for the Alabama Rivers Alliance. “That’s why we’re so proud to come together in celebration of this important law that protects our waterways.”
Other organizations partnering in this celebration include the Alabama Environmental Council, Black Warrior Riverkeeper, Cahaba Riverkeeper, Cahaba River Society, Coosa Riverkeeper, GASP, League of Women Voters, The Nature Conservancy of Alabama and the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Event Details:

Date and Time: Doors open at 5:30pm
Location Address:  Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, AL
Ticket Prices: $10 for dinner and two beverages 
For ticket purchase:
About the Alabama Coastal Foundation
Founded in 1993, the Alabama Coastal Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit membership organization with a mission to improve and protect Alabama’s coastal environment through cooperation, education and participation. We accomplish this mission by providing factual information, promoting dialogue and advocating action.
About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
The Alabama Rivers Alliance is Alabama’s statewide, nonprofit, river protection organization working to protect Alabama's rivers through water quality and quantity policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, and the providing of information to citizens in order to achieve clean and healthy watershed ecosystems, healthy people, strong economies, and a functioning democratic system of government in Alabama.