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Clean Water Campaign reaches Delaware's capital

Grassroots campaign urges funding for clean water
Dozens of Delawareans gathered at Legislative Mall June 2 in support of state funding for projects to clean up Delaware's waterways. BY MADDY LAURIA
June 23, 2015

A grassroots movement to spur state funding to clean up Delaware's waterways attracted a few dozen people to a rally a Legislative Mall in Dover June 2.

Led by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Delaware Nature Society and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, The Clean Water Campaign: Delaware's Clear Choice, aims to pick up where Gov. Jack Markell left off with a proposed tax to raise millions of dollars to improve impaired waterways.

The Clean Water Campaign encourages local residents to take a closer look at the cost of clean water. A survey commissioned by the Delaware Nature Society found Delawareans are willing to pay a few extra dollars per month to ensure their beaches, ponds, streams and creeks are safe for recreation.

According to a report from the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 94 percent of Delaware's rivers and streams and 74 percent of lakes and ponds throughout the state are polluted and do not support healthy fish and aquatic life.

The June 2 rally included informational tables as well as insight from the leaders of the three environmental groups, National Wildlife Federation President and CEO Collin O'Mara, Senate Majority Leader David McBride, D-Hawk's Nest, and Sen. Bryan Townsend, D-Newark. The event was followed with about three dozen participants urging their local legislators to support funding for clean water projects.

The initiative supports pollution control measures such as planting more cover crops, restoring wetlands, converting on-site sewage to central sewage and stormwater maintenance.

For more information about The Clean Water Campaign, go to cleanwaterdelaware.org or facebook.com/cleanwaterdelaware.