MDE Secretary Summers Discusses Clean Water with Eastport Elementary Students

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MDE Secretary Summers Discusses Clean Water with Eastport Elementary Students

ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 29, 2012) - Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers visited with students at Eastport Elementary school today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act by highlighting the importance of fresh, clean water for all Marylanders.  The students learned about the Clean Water Act, how water can be potentially contaminated and what we as citizens can do to protect our entire freshwater supply.  Additionally, as a part of Read Across Maryland Month, Dr. Summers read excerpts from "Did a Dinosaur Drink this Water?" by Robert E. Wells to the third-and fourth-grade students.

More Information

The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 as a means to curb pollution and protect America’s lakes, rivers and coastal waters.  At the time, more than half of the nation’s waterways had fallen into such poor condition that recreational activities such as swimming and fishing were deemed unsafe.  The Clean Water Act has been instrumental in improving the health of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. It has prevented pollution from entering our waterways and provided safe and healthy recreation for swimming and fishing. This landmark legislation ensured that all Americans have access to clean, pollution-free drinking water.  However, we all must do our part to care for this natural resource. Keeping our water clean helps to protect and restore our waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay.

March marks Read Across Maryland month. An offshoot of the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America initiative, Read Across Maryland is sponsored by the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA).  The program encourages students to read at least 30 minutes for 30 days beginning on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss and ending March 31st.

Core Facts
  • October 18, 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Clean Water Act. MDE will mark this observance with water related events throughout the year.
  • The Clean Water Act has been instrumental in improving the health of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. It has prevented pollution from entering our waterways, and provided safe and healthy recreation for swimming, fishing and clean drinking water.
  • Nonpoint Source Pollution is one of the major contributors to the degradation of Maryland’s waterways and the violation of water quality standards.  You can help protect water quality by knowing and reducing the contaminants associated with nonpoint source pollution such as:
    • Fertilizers, herbicides, and incesticides from agricultural lands and residential areas;
    • Gasoline, oil, grease and chemicals from urban runoff;
    • Sediment from construction sites, croplands and forestlands and eroding streambanks;
    • Acid drainage from abandoned mines;
    • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and septic systems;
    • Air pollution that deposits in waterways is also a source of nonpoint source pollution.
  • You can help maintain an adequate supply of water by making simple changes to your everyday activities:
    • Take shorter showers.
    • Shut off water when brushing your teeth.
    • Run full loads of dishes and laundry.
    • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator.

Quotes

"The Clean Water Act has played a significant role in the restoration of waterways throughout Maryland and the nation. Even as we continue to make strides in reducing and preventing further pollution of our water, our mission is far from accomplished. It is the responsibility of every Marylander to respect our waterways and do their part to care for this natural resource. Keeping our water clean helps to protect and restore our waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay."

         --Robert M. Summers, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment

Additional Information

Images
Secretary Summers discusses the water cycle with Eastport Elementary students Secretary Summers takes questions from Eastport Elementary students
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See more of today's event photos on our Flickr page.

Contacts

Samantha Kappalman
samantha.kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson
Jay.Apperson@maryland.gov

(410) 537-3003

MDE Mission
Our mission is to protect and restore the quality of Maryland's air, water, and land resources, while fostering smart growth, a thriving and sustainable economy and healthy communities.