Stand Up For Lake Erie
More than 100 gallons of sewage flow into Lake Erie every year, leading to 1,200 beach closings and advisories in 2010 alone. The EPA can fix this problem by updating clean water standards, but polluters and their allies are threatening to block them.
At risk: Lake Erie
Right now, Lake Erie, and the streams on wetlands on which it relies, is vulnerable to pollution and development. 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.
Polluters poke holes in Clean Water Act
For nearly 40 years, the Clean Water Act has helped Ohio — and states across the nation — care for and clean up our waterways. Thanks in large part to this groundbreaking law, rivers are no longer so polluted that they catch fire, as Ohio’s Cuyahoga infamously did in 1969.
Unfortunately, Lake Erie is still threatened by pollution — state officials estimate that more than 10 billion gallons of untreated sewage flow into the Lake each year. Too often, we’ve seen our beaches closed due to high pollution levels, with more than 1,200 closings or warnings in 2010 alone. The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to update clean water standards to reduce pollution in Lake Erie, but polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to block them. With a decision expected this fall, the matter is urgent: We need to show overwhelming public support for tough clean water standards to protect Lake Erie and all of our waterways.
The EPA can protect Lake Erie
Since 2006, we have been urging Congress to protect all our waters by simply declaring that the Clean Water Act applies to all of Ohio's — and America’s — waters. But, stymied at every turn by industry lobbyists and powerful special interests, we turned instead to the EPA for action.
This spring, we submitted petitions to Administrator Lisa Jackson, urging her to restore protections to all of our waters. 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 Lake Erie, and all our waters
We refuse to let polluters and their allies in Congress open our precious waterways to more dumping and development. We’re bringing together Ohioans from all walks of life to protect Lake Erie and the rest of our state's waterways. From anglers to white-water 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 Ohioans about what’s at stake.
If we’re going to push past ExxonMobil and other powerful polluters, we’re going to need everyone who cares about Lake Erie to get involved. Join our campaign by sending the EPA a message today.
Tell the Environmental Protection Agency that you love Lake Erie and want to see it protected.
- Every year, more than 10 billion gallons of untreated sewage are dumped into Lake Erie, threatening the health of the people and wildlife.
- In 2010 alone, unsafe bacteria levels caused more than 1,200 beach closings and advisories on the lake.
- Recent Supreme Court decisions gutted 30 years of protections provided by the Clean Water Act, effectively writing an estimated 60 percent of Ohio's streams—many of which feed Lake Erie—right out of the law.