MDE Secretary Summers celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act with Parkway Elementary Students

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MDE Secretary Summers celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act with Parkway Elementary Students Summers leads monitoring activity with 45 fifth-graders


FREDERICK, MD (October 17, 2012)
- Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert M. Summers visited with fifth-grade students at Parkway Elementary School in Frederick today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The students learned about the Clean Water Act and participated in a World Water Monitoring Challenge activity in Carroll Creek. The creek, located in Baker Park across from Parkway Elementary is a tributary of the Monocacy River which flows into the Potomac River and eventually, the Chesapeake Bay.

Using water monitoring kits, Secretary Summers and the students gathered data on four important measures of water quality:  temperature, acidity (pH), clarity (turbidity) and dissolved oxygen. The students will upload their information to the World Water Monitoring database to compare their findings with students around the globe.

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.

World Water Monitoring Day is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.

The 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act will officially be celebrated on October 18, 2012.

Core Facts
  • 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. 
  • To date, more than $64 million in Federal funding has been appropriated under Section 106 of the Clean Water Act to supplement Maryland’s state funding for water pollution control programs including permitting and enforcement, the development and monitoring of water quality standards and TMDLs for Maryland’s waterways and the management of these programs.
  • MDE oversees Maryland’s Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, a fund of over $2 billion for use in low-interest loans to finance water quality projects large and small across Maryland. The fund has received nearly $900 million in Federal grants in connection with programs the Clean Water Act set in motion.
  • In 2010, working with Maryland and all the Bay watershed states, the EPA established the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, the largest TMDL since the CWA originated the TMDL assessment as a pollution control measure.
  • The Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) submitted by watershed states to the EPA spell out reduction plans for the pollutants the Bay TMDL targets and timetables for their completion. In collaboration with Maryland local governments and stakeholders, MDE developed Phase II of Maryland’s WIP, approved by the EPA this year.
  • 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.

Quotes
 

"The Clean Water Act has played a significant role in the restoration of waterways throughout Maryland and the nation.  It is important for us to teach our children the value of clean water and the importance of this legislation in reducing and preventing the further pollution of our waterways. Every Marylander both young and old should 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
Dr. Summers conducts water monitoring activity with Parkway students Dr. Summers conducts water monitoring activity at Parkway Elementary Carroll Creek near Parkway Elementary School

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View more photos from today's event on MDE's Flickr site

Contacts

Samantha Kappalman
Samantha.Kappalman@maryland.gov

Jay Apperson
Jay.Apperson@maryland.gov

(410) 537-3003

Agency Information
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.