Protect Our Rivers and Beaches
Countless gallons of untreated sewage pour into our waters every year, forcing beaches to close, tainting our drinking water, and making fish unsafe to eat. The EPA can fix this problem by updating clean water standards, but polluters and their allies are threatening to block them. To protect all Massachusetts' waters, we need to show massive public support for clean water.
Clean water at risk
From the Connecticut to the Charles to the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts is defined by its waterways. Our cities were built around them. Our families grew up by them. Many of us depend of them for drinking water, for recreation, or for the touch of nature they bring to our lives each day.
Yet these waters face serious pollution — from sewage overflows, development, unrestricted pollution and more. Environment Massachusetts is working to rein in the pollution, and restore our coast, rivers, lakes and streams to health.
Progress for our waters is at risk
Unfortunately, the progress we've made to clean up our rivers and beaches is at risk. Sewage pollution has tainted drinking water in Gloucester and closed beaches from Falmouth to Truro.
Meanwhile, Clean Water Act protections for more than half of our streams have been called into question.
Clean Water Act loopholes leave half of our streams unprotected
Over the past decade, polluters and irresponsible developers have used the courts to strip Clean Water Act protections from small streams and wetlands.
More than half of Massachusetts' streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development as a result. Polluters can dump garbage into streams, developers can pave over wetlands to build strip malls, and the cops on the environmental beat can’t do a thing about it. And it’s not just small streams and wetlands that will suffer — these waterways are the same ones that feed our largest rivers, including the Charles and Connecticut.
The EPA can protect our waterways
The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to update clean water standards to reduce pollution in Massachusetts' waters, but polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to block them. We need to show overwhelming public support for tough clean water standards to protect all of our waterways.
This spring, we and our allies across the country submitted more than 170,000 petitions to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to restore protections to all of our waters and cut sewage pollution. In April, she announced a plan to do just that.
But polluters’ allies in Congress won’t give up — and now they’re threatening to stop the EPA from doing its job. At the same time, powerful corporate interests are preparing for battle: ExxonMobil threatened “legal warfare” if the EPA moves forward with its plan to restore Clean Water Act protections.
Our plan to defend clean water
We refuse to let polluters and their allies in Congress open our precious waterways to more dumping and development. We’re bringing together Massachusetts residents from all walks of life to protect the Sound. From anglers to sailing enthusiasts, clergy to scientists, local officials to ordinary families, we all have a stake in keeping our water clean.
Our citizen outreach staff has been knocking on doors across the state, educating Massachusetts residents about what’s at stake. But if we’re going to push past ExxonMobil and other powerful polluters, we’re going to need everyone who cares about clean water to get involved.
Tell the Environmental Protection Agency that you love Massachusetts' waters, from the coast to the Connecticut River, and want to see them protected.
- More than half of Massachusetts’ streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands are vulnerable to pollution and development.
- On the North Shore, runoff pollution means some residents have to boil their water after heavy rains to avoid getting sick.
- 4.2 million people get their drinking water from sources fed by threatened streams.