Join AWS, Patuxent Riverkeeper, Clean Water Action, and other Prince George's County activists
Monday, September 12, 2011 at 6:30pm, at the Anacostia Watershed Society offices in Bladensburg, the Prince George's Clean Water Coalition will hold a kickoff meeting to connect with other county activists regarding campaign efforts for clean water in the county.
Anacostia Watershed Society
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg, MD 20710

This summer the water is so bad, it’s making people sick.
Have you gone in the water this summer? There are recent reports of people and pets contracting serious infections from swimming in the rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. Sadly, the Anacostia River is not swimmable or fishable already. In addition, scientists say the Bay's "dead zone," a large area of very low oxygen caused by excess pollution, is one of the largest ever. And what about flooded streets and basements when it rains heavily, a big problem in much of the Anacostia region of Prince George's County?
These are all signs of a deteriorating system that is supposed to keep the water clean. Sewage treatment plant operators are not making upgrade deadlines for their facilities. Run-off from storms flows right into our waterways carrying tons of pollution and sediment. Failing septic systems pumps hundreds of pounds of poisonous nitrogen into the ground water every day. Something has to give or we will all be living with the legacy of inaction and poisoned waters.
The Clean Waters, Healthy Families Campaign has four goals to help clean our waters and ensure the long term health of our rivers, streams and the Bay:

  •     Provide sufficient funding to ensure “major” Wastewater Treatment Plants are upgraded on schedule
  •     Ensure an ongoing dedicated funding source to local governments that allows them to address stormwater treatment needs
  •     Create policy that discourages sprawling growth
  •     Require a treatment standard for all wastewater treatment systems (including septic systems) to meet Maryland's water quality standards

Maryland has developed a plan to clean its rivers, reservoirs and the Bay by 2020. Not surprisingly, some of the biggest polluters are doing everything they can to prevent the plan from moving forward – from lawsuits, to exaggerated costs estimates, to fear mongering about the loss of jobs and businesses. It seems these groups won’t be happy until our basements are flooded after a hard rain, our waters are the color of coffee and their pockets full of cash – at our expense. Today we have a choice – to follow the scientifically based plan to clean our waters or allow the polluters to have their way.
Dirty water can cause serious infections. Dirty water harms the economy. Dirty water costs jobs – thousands of them.
It’s our choice – live with dirty water, consider “No Swimming” signs the norm and pay the price in the years ahead, or make clean water a priority and protect and invest in it as you would a child, and keep it healthy.  Cleaning up our waters will also green our communities, which improves quality of life, makes communities and people healthier, and raises property values.
Thank you for joining us!
Brent Bolin, Anacostia Watershed Society
Fred Tutman, Patuxent Riverkeeper
Victor Ukpolo, Clean Water Action

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