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Great Lakes Article:

Clean Water Network Status Report-March 2002


Articles in this issue:

1. TELL PRESIDENT BUSH “Don’t Let Our Streams and Wetlands be Buried in Waste”

2.  Tell Congress We Want Smart Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure

Investments!--Infrastructure Bills Moving Swiftly through Congress 3.  Need to Clean-up Your Coasts?  Contact Your Member about Reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management  Act

4.  Senate Hearing on Bush Administration Rollbacks 5.  What’s New in the World of Effluent Guidelines 6.  A Rock and a Hard Place 7.  Water Quality Standards Workgroup Announced 8.  Network Water Quality Standards Mini-Caucus June 2-4 9.  TMDL Trainings Everywhere! 10.  The Network Welcomes a New Co-Chair and Thanks Joan Mulhern for her  Service as Network Co-Chair 11.  Mission Possible II: State Progress in Controlling Runoff on the Coasts

12.  Thank You C.S. Mott Foundation for Your Continued Support of Clean Water!

13.  Network Activist Spotlight-Santa Monica BayKeeper 14.  Featured Water Resource of the Month




1. TELL PRESIDENT BUSH “Don’t Let Our Streams and Wetlands be Buried in Waste” The Bush administration is very close to finalizing a change to Clean  Water Act rules that would modify the Army Corps of Engineers’  definition of “fill” material to allow the Corps to permit wastes from  mountaintop removal coal mining to bury streams.  In mountaintop removal  coal mining, coal companies literally blast off the tops of mountains to  reach the seams of coal, then dump the millions of tons of waste  generated into nearby streams and wetlands. In October 1999 a federal  court found that this practice violated the Clean Water Act and the  stream protection provisions of the federal surface mining law.  Now,  the Army Corps of Engineers and US EPA are trying to change the rules in  order to legalize this waste dumping. 

 To make matters even worse, the proposed rule change would also allow  hardrock mineral mining companies and all other industries to dump their  wastes into waters, too.  The result of this change in regulation will  be nationwide devastation of rivers, lakes, wetlands and streams.

 Many of you will remember that two years ago, the Corps’ and EPA made a  similar proposal, but after receiving over 17,000 public comments in  protest of allowing waste dumps in our waters, the Clinton  administration dropped the proposal to change the Clean Water Act rule.

The definition of “fill” is important because it determines the scope of  the Corps’ jurisdiction to issue permits under Section 404 of the Clean  Water Act (section 404 of Act deals with filling wetlands, streams and  all other waters of the United States).  Under the Corps’ current  regulatory definition, “fill” means any material “used for the primary  purpose of replacing portions of the waters of the United States with  dry land or which changes the bottom elevation of a water body; except  that the term does not include any pollutant discharge composed of  waste, which the existing rule states should be regulated under Section  402 of the Act.”   The proposed new definition would say that any  material that has the effect of replacing portions of waters with dry  land or changing the bottom elevation of a water body can be permitted  as “fill.”  Clean Water Network member groups support getting rid of the  “primary purpose” and believe there would be environmental benefits from  this and from unifying the Corps’ and EPA’s currently differing  definitions.  However, the proposed rule goes far beyond this legitimate  goal and would result in an unconscionable weakening of the Clean Water  Act by allowing the Corps to permit water bodies to be turned into waste  dumps – the very thing the Act was adopted 30 years ago to prevent.

 Now, the Bush administration is planning to make this rule change   without even giving the public any notice that this rule change is back  under consideration.  In doing this, the Bush administration is ignoring  the purpose of the Clean Water Act – to protect the integrity of our  nation’s waters – and ignoring the thousands of citizens that have  already spoken out against this proposal. 


Call To Action

Join thousands of others in our national phone-in day by calling  administration officials on Wednesday, March 20 to deliver the message  below. On March 20 between 9am and 4 pm EST please call

 Christine Whitman, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency, 202-546-4700 and  ·   James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House’s Council on  Environmental Quality, 202-456-5147. 


Tell them:

1.  Not to revise the definition of “fill material” under the Clean  Water Act in order to authorize the dumping of waste into our nation’s  streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands. 

2.  Do not attempt to legalize the illegal practice of mountaintop  removal coal mining, which has already destroyed hundreds of miles of  streams and kills all stream life.  

3.  The Administration MUST reopen this policy change to public comment  and conduct an Environmental Impact Statement before it completes this  rulemaking. For more information visit


Please ask members of your organization to spread the word and make  calls as well!




2.  Tell Congress We Want Smart Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure

Investments!--Infrastructure Bills Moving Swiftly through Congress

 Want more money for stream buffers, wetlands restoration, low impact  development, controlling combined sewer overflows, source water  protection, rehabilitating aging sewer pipes and treatment plants?  

 Legislation is moving quickly in the House and Senate to reauthorize the  Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water revolving funds.  Reauthorization of  these important funds could mean cleaner water for millions of Americans  as well as greater controls on nonpoint sources of pollution,  disincentives for sprawl to occur, and public participation in the  funding allotment process.  It could also mean maintaining the status  quo of building new wastewater and drinking water treatment plants that  subsidize sprawl and rely on plant technology instead of pollution  prevention to clean our waters.  We have the unique opportunity to  decide what type of clean water legacy we want to leave for future  generations.


The Clean Water and Drinking Water SRF Reauthorization Act of 2002 (H.R. 3792), co-sponsored by Representatives Kelly (R-NY) and Tauscher (D-CA),  and the Water Investment Act of 2002 (S.1961), co-sponsored by Senators  Jeffords (I-VT), Smith (R-NH), Graham (D-FL), and Crapo (R-ID) were both  introduced in February.  Though the bills substantially increase funding  levels for both of these programs, the bills are missing a number of  important elements including: setting aside a specific percentage of  funds for nonpoint source pollution controls and nonstructural  approaches, funding projects based on the states’ priority system  ranking, ensuring that funds are not used to subsidize new sprawl  development, and accountability for, and public participation in,  funding decisions.  These bills also do not remove incentives for  noncompliance with the Clean Water Act.  To view the bills, go to and enter the bill numbers.  To learn more about the  positions being advocated by the Clean Water Network, go to  and click on Raw Sewage, or read Nancy Stoner’s testimony also on that  same web page.


How Can You Help Strengthen These Bills?

If your member of Congress is on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee or the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, please contact them and ask them to:


1.         Provide 10% additional funding for states to spend on non-structural  distributed solutions to their sewage, stormwater, and polluted runoff   problems.

2.         Require funding to go to the projects that will provide the greatest  public health and environmental benefit and not those that will fund  sprawl or encourage noncompliance

3.         Improve public participation and state accountability in the  expenditure of federal funds Call your members’ office by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.


House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Members: Don Young, Chair, AK  Eddie Bernice Johnson, TX Robert W. Ney, OH    Frank Mascara, PA John Cooksey, LA            Gene Taylor, MS John R. Thune, SD    Juanita Millender-McDonald, CA Frank A. LoBiondo, NJ           Elijah E. Cummings, MD Jerry Moran, KS        Earl Blumenauer, OR Richard W. Pombo, CA           Max Sandlin, TX Jim DeMint, SC         Ellen O. Tauscher, CA Doug Bereuter, NE       Bill Pascrell, Jr., NJ Michael K. Simpson, ID          Leonard L. Boswell, IA Johnny Isakson, GA    James P. McGovern, MA Robin Hayes, NC         Tim Holden, PA Rob Simmons, CT      Nick Lampson, TX Mike Rogers, MI   John Elias Baldacci, ME Shelley Moore Capito, WV           Marion Berry, AR Mark Steven Kirk, IL          Brian Baird, WA Henry E. Brown, Jr., SC Shelley Berkley, NV Timothy V. Johnson, IL    Brad Carson, OK Brian D. Kerns, IN  Jim Matheson, UT Dennis R. Rehberg, MT           Michael M. Honda, CA Todd Russell Platts, PA           Rick Larsen, WA Sue W. Kelly, NY    Bob Filner, CA        Steven C. LaTourette, OH       James A. Barcia, MI John Abney Culberson, TX          Bill Shuster, PA            John Boozman, AR                         Mark R. Kennedy, MN Richard H. Baker, LA      James L. Oberstar, MN Thomas E. Petri, WI     Nick J. Rahall, II, WV Sherwood L. Boehlert, NY       Robert A. Borski, PA Howard Coble, NC            William O. Lipinski ,IL John J. Duncan, Jr., TN Peter A. DeFazio, OR Wayne T. Gilchrest, MD            Bob Clement, TN Stephen Horn, CA           Jerry F. Costello, IL John L. Mica, FL  Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Jack Quinn, NY      Jerrold Nadler, NY Vernon J. Ehlers, MI          Robert Menendez, NJ Spencer Bachus, AL      Corrine Brown, FL Mike Ferguson, NJ       C.L. “Butch” Otter, ID Sam Graves, MO        


Senate EPW Committee Members: James Jeffords, Chair, VT Robert Smith, NH John Warner, VA James Inhofe, OK Christopher Bond, MO George Voinovich, OH Michael Crapo, ID      Barbara Boxer, CA Ron Wyden, OR Thomas Carper, DE Lincoln Chafee, RI Arlen Specter, PA Ben Campbell, CO Harry Reid, NV Max Baucus, MT Bob Graham, FL Joseph Lieberman, CT Hillary Clinton, NY Jon Corzine, NJ 




3.  Need to Clean-up Your Coasts?

Contact Your Member about Reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management  Act

 CWN members have been working for a while on reauthorizing the Coastal  Zone Management Act (CZMA), a very important tool in the toolbox of  coastal preservation and restoration.  Last December Representatives  Gilchrest (R-MD) and Underwood (D-GU) introduced the Coastal Resources  Conservation Act, H.R. 3577.  In 2001, Senator Snowe (R-ME) introduced  the Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization of 2001, S. 328. To view  the full bills, go to and search on the bill number.

 Subcommittee mark-up of H.R. 3577 occurred in early March. At that time,  the bill was improved by a Manager’s amendment and passed.  However,  activists continue to have serious concerns that weakening  anti-environmental amendments would be offered if the bill was brought  to the full Committee.  These amendments could inject bad takings  language, remove critical funding for the runoff program, and/or weaken  the federal consistency requirements that often allow states to block  bad federal projects. Network members can still sign onto a letter to  the House Resources Committee urging Representatives to oppose weakening  amendments to H.R. 3577.  The bill will not be marked up for the next  few months.  To sign on, contact the coastal workgroup co-chair,  Catherine Hazlewood with The Ocean Conservancy, at




4.  Senate Hearing on Bush Administration Rollbacks

The departure of Eric Schaefer from the EPA’s Office of Regulatory  Enforcement touched off several Senate hearings in early March on  environmental rollbacks by the Bush administration. 


On March 7, the Senate Government Affairs Committee heard testimony from  EPA Administrator Whitman and Schaefer.  The briefing focused mainly on  air and enforcement issues.  Whitman severely undercut the credibility  of her own enforcement staff by commenting that if she were an attorney  for defendants in New Source Review enforcement actions (under the Clean  Air Act), she would not advise them to settle until after resolution of  the TVA case. 


On March 12, the Senate subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, Risk and  Waste Control held a briefing on the state of environmental enforcement  at EPA.  Senator Boxer noted “there is a subtle way that environmental  protections can be rolled back.  Cuts in personnel and cuts in pollution  control targets” happened without votes and are “not so public.”  EPA  data presented by Senator Boxer shows significant declines in  enforcement programs and, therefore, in environmental protection.


Negative Trends in Environmental Enforcement At EPA


FY01 (actual)      FY02 (enacted)         FY03 (requested by President



Inspections       17,812                 15,500                     14,000


Investigations    368                      200                 180  


Voluntary Disclosure     1,754                   500        500           


Pollution Reduction

(in millions of lbs.)         660                      300        300           


Source: EPA Budget Documents for FY2003 - presented by Senator Barbara  Boxer




5.  What’s New in the World of Effluent Guidelines


Network members should be aware that EPA is working on a number of  effluent guidelines (technology standards) that could be important to  your favorite water.  Below you will find an article by the Citizens  Coal Council describing a recent effluent guideline for Western coal  mining.  In addition to that guideline and the impending effluent  guidelines for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) that the  Feedlots Workgroup has been working on for a few years, other effluent  guidelines are also moving forward:


Metals, Products and Machinery, I & II: Rule has been proposed, final  action expected December 2002. Iron and Steel: Rule has been proposed, final action expected April

2002. Construction and Development: Proposed rule expected May 2002, final  action expected April 2004. Meat Products: Rule has been proposed, final action expected December

2003. Aquatic Animal Production: Proposed rule expected June 2002, final  action expected June 2004.


NRDC will be commenting on the construction and development and meat  products guidelines and The Ocean Conservancy will be commenting on the  aquatic animal production guidelines.  Contact Nancy Stoner with NRDC at if you are interested in helping to put together  comments on construction and development guidelines; Melanie Shepherdson  at if you are interested in helping to put  together the meat products comments; and Catherine Hazlewood at if you are interested in helping to put  together the aquaculture comments.  Though we have made great strides in  addressing most point sources of pollution, there are still a number of  important and emerging point sources that require effluent guidelines  that will protect our waters.


EPA Promotes Dirty Water for the West


On January 23, 2002, the EPA published a final rule adding a new  subcategory for effluent limits from coal strip mines in the “western  alkaline region” (defined by EPA to be west of the 100th meridian and  having less than 26 inches of annual precipitation). The rule can be  found at Eight coalfield  groups joined Network member organization the Citizens Coal Council in  severely criticizing EPA’s proposed rule. They focused on four issues:

1. The new rule gets rid of the existing enforceable numeric limits. It  substitutes a sediment control plan unique to each mine that will use  “best management practices” so the mine will not increase sediment loads  over the pre-mined levels that are determined by watershed models. These  models, however, reflect the degraded condition of many areas before  mining from deforestation, construction, grazing and other damaging land  uses.

2. EPA attempts to make the case that the West is a desert with few  redeeming qualities that can be sacrificed for the benefit of coal mine  operators. The agency’s statements are filled with omissions,  half-truths, errors, pseudo-science, and myths. For example, EPA defines  alkaline water as having a pH of 6.0 or greater –ten times less than the  most conservative definition of alkaline water used by scientists, water  having a pH greater than 7.0.

3. The rule greatly lowers the standard for reclamation at western mines  and gives those mines an unfair economic advantage over Appalachian and  Midwestern mines that are still required to meet the numeric standards.  Western coal mine operators obtained permits only after making a legal  pledge that they would reclaim the mined lands to comply with the  numeric effluent standards. They have not done so — less than 1 percent  of the 800,000 acres mined since 1977 have been fully reclaimed and had  their reclamation bonds released.

4. EPA spent over three years developing the proposed rule at the  request of the National Mining Association and the Office of Surface  Mining.  Citizens were not included in the secret meetings and studies  and were not informed until EPA published the proposed rule in April

2000. The agency claimed “stakeholder” support allowed it to give short  shrift to citizen participation. Its analysis under the National  Environmental Policy Act consisted of 9 pages of “benefits” and ignored  the major and severe impacts of the proposal.


Thanks to Carolyn Johnson with the Citizens Coal Council for writing  this article.  For a copy of the full comments, please contact Carolyn  directly at 303-722-9119 or




6.  A Rock and a Hard Place

Thanks to the Mineral Policy Center who helped put together this article  on mining law reform.  They are kicking off a new campaign and would  like to involve Network members dealing with the effects of water  pollution problems due to mining.


From gold and silver in your jewelry to the pumice used to stonewash  jeans, the extraction of uncommon minerals that are not used as a fuel  source is called hard rock mining. 


One of the least regulated of natural resource extraction industries,  hard rock mining is also one of the worst polluters in the nation.  In  fact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Toxics  Release Inventory (TRI), this type of mining is the nation’s largest  toxic polluter affecting land, air, and water.  In 1999, the industry of  hard rock mining discharged over 447,000 lbs of toxics to surface waters  ranking 11th among all industries in the amount of material discharged  to surface waters.  The EPA also estimates that mining has polluted 40%  of the headwaters of Western rivers and streams.


Past attempts to reform comprehensive mining laws in the U.S. have  failed due to the mining industry’s powerful political influence.   Therefore, hard rock mining is still governed by the General Mining Law  of 1872. In 1872, environmental damage was limited to what miners with  picks and shovels were able to do and natural resources were thought  unlimited.  Today, massive mining machines are used to gouge ever-larger  holes into the earth, and gold and silver are extracted from thousands  of tons of ore using chemicals like cyanide and sulfuric acid.


Abandoned mines are often left as pits with sulfides and heavy metals  exposed.  These sulfides and metal ores acidify once they mix with the  oxygen (from air or water) and can be highly toxic.  Streams, rivers and  groundwater aquifers are all subject to contamination from this process  known as acid mine drainage.  Unfortunately, all too often, mining  companies leave the cost of cleaning up after mines to taxpayers.   What’s more, over the years, mining companies have taken hundreds of  billions of dollars worth of minerals from public land without giving  anything back to the public who owns the land.  While oil, gas, and coal  industries pay between 8 and 12.5% royalties for mining on public lands,  the hard rock mining industry pays no royalty to taxpayers for minerals  taken from public land.


As Clean Water Network member organization the Mineral Policy Center and  other Network members continue to push for comprehensive mining reform  legislation to address both environmental and taxpayer concerns, they  will need all who are concerned about toxic pollution to spread the word  that hard rock mining should be done responsibly.  If you would like to  receive updates about hard rock mining issues and action alerts on  regional or state issues, you can join the Mineral Policy Center action  list by sending a message to and ask to be added  to the Mineral Policy Center working group.  For more information,  contact Alan Septoff at the Mineral Policy Center, or (202) 887-1872 x205.




7.  Water Quality Standards Workgroup Announced Water Quality Standards Workgroup Announced


The Network has started a Standards Workgroup for all Network members  dealing with issues related to water quality standards.  The workgroup  was developed both to provide Network members with an  information-sharing mechanism on standards and to help the Network  respond to EPA’s Long-term Strategy on Water Quality Standards.  This  strategy will guide federal priorities on standards over the next five  to ten years.


Standards Workgroup Co-Chairs are Albert Ettinger with the Illinois

Sierra Club and the Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest,

and Gayle Killam with River Network in Oregon.  Thanks to Albert and  Gayle for helping to lead this important new workgroup!




8.  Network Water Quality Standards Mini-Caucus June 2-4


Dealing with complicated issues related to water quality standards in  your state?  Trying to understand if your state can legally downgrade  your favorite lake?  Come join fellow Network members dealing with the  wonderful world of water quality standards in our first-ever standards  mini-caucus in Washington, DC from June 2 through June 4! The goal of  the meeting is to educate ourselves on the intricacies of water quality  standards, to strategize on how Network members can fight off attacks on  standards, the downgrading of standards to avoid TMDLs, and to develop a  campaign plan for the Network’s new Standards Workgroup.  A limited  number of travel scholarships will be available to those Network members  that visit members of Congress while in town and/or attend EPA’s  symposium on the 3rd and the first half of the day on the 4th and  present abtracts at the EPA meeting.  Registration materials will be  sent to Network members on the standards listserve in late March.  If  you are not on the listserve but want to attend, e-mail the Network at


EPA is holding a symposium on use attainability analysis on June 3 and

4.  Our meeting will be held on June 2, all meeting attendees will  attend EPA's meeting on the 3rd and possibly for part of the 4th, and  then our meeting will wrap up on the afternoon of the 4th.  All those  coming to our meeting should attend EPA’s meeting on the 3rd and also  possibly on the 4th.  While attending EPA’s meeting is important, it is  even more important that we are an active part of the dialogue.  For  that reason we highly encourage members to submit an abstract for this  meeting.  More information on this meeting including registration  materials will be announced on the standards listserve. 




9.  TMDL Trainings Everywhere!


The Network and local members are hosting TMDL activist trainings this  spring….plan on attending!  To register for any of these trainings,  contact Merritt Frey  at or 208-345-7776.


·           Alabama and Tennessee:  March 8 at Joe Wheeler State Park in northern  Alabama.  Hosted in partnership with Tennessee Clean Water Network and

Alabama Rivers Alliance.

·           Virginia:  March 23 at the Patagonia store in Washington, D.C.  Hosted  in partnership with Clean Water Action.

·           Ohio:  April 5 and 6 in Columbus.  Hosted in partnership with Ohio

Environmental Council and River Network.


The trainings use our TMDL handbook The Ripple Effect, state-by-state  information, and actual TMDLs from the area (and around the country) to  make the problem and the solution real for people.  Plus, they’re fun!  Really. 


Can’t make it to those?  Co-host a training in your area!  We can come  do a short session at a meeting you’ve already planned or we can  co-sponsor a full day training with you.  Contact Merritt at or 208-345-7776.




10.  The Network Welcomes a New Co-Chair and Thanks Joan Mulhern for her  Service as Network Co-Chair


In February the Clean Water Network issued in a new Network Co-Chair. 

Nancy Stoner, the Clean Water Project Director and Network Urban Wet

Weather Workgroup Co-Chair, is officially the new Network Co-Chair.   Nancy joins Jackie Savitz, Executive Director of the Coast Alliance, as  the second of the Network’s two Co-Chairs. CWN staff would like to  welcome Nancy to this new position.  We look forward to working with her  in our fight for cleaner waters!


We would also like to thank Joan Mulhern, Senior Attorney at  Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and our outgoing Network Co-Chair.  Joan  served the Network for a year and a half as our Co-Chair and has been an  important part of our Steering Committee and in grassroots campaigns.   Joan will continue to be an active part of the Network.  Thanks for your  continued support, Joan!




11.  Mission Possible II: State Progress in Controlling Runoff on the



As a sequel to Mission Possible and Pointless Pollution, on February 27  the Coast Alliance released Mission Possible II. This report examines  the progress made under the Coastal Zone Management Act’s Coastal

Nonpoint Program. TheCoastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program is the

only comprehensive federal law effectively designed to protect our  nation’s coasts from polluted runoff. 


In studying Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts and Ohio, Mission Possible  II takes a peek at the actual challenges faced by federal  representatives, state coastal program managers, and local environmental  activists working to control pollution in coastal states. It shows both  the solutions that states are finding as well as the challenges they are  confronting in their attempts to control runoff. Considering common  themes, the report offers recommendations for the future. 


As in years past, Clean Water Network members helped release the report  in Delaware, Florida, Indiana, and Oregon. Thanks to Network members for  their help!




12.  Thank You C.S. Mott Foundation for Your Continued Support of Clean



The Clean Water Network would like to thank the C.S. Mott Foundation for  their support of the Network’s national clean water campaigns, including  implementing the TMDL program, watchdogging water quality standards,  stopping polluted runoff, and protecting wetlands.  These are  politically and financially uncertain times.  The Mott Foundation’s  continued confidence in us ensures that we will be able to continue the  fight for clean water for a long time to come. Thank You, Mott  Foundation!




13.  Network Activist Spotlight-Santa Monica BayKeeper


Can citizen volunteers really make a difference in their local  watersheds?  Of course!  The volunteer BeachKeeper program started by  the Santa Monica BayKeeper is a great example.  With the help of 70  volunteers, a comprehensive monitoring program called the BeachKeeper  program was set in motion in 1995 to search for sources of pollution  draining into the Santa Monica Bay.  An epidemiological study done in  1996 showed that storm drains contributed most of the pollution into the  bay, but just where all those storm drains were was not known.


The BeachKeeper volunteers had a mission:  find the sources of pollution  and provide data showing the levels of pollution in the Santa Monica  Bay.  With a camera and the use of a GPS unit borrowed from the LA  Regional Water Quality Control Board, volunteers and staff surveyed the  46-mile stretch of shoreline and mapped over 342 storm drains and pipes  dumping into the bay.  Original blue prints and city records showed only  about 80 storm drain outfalls leading to the bay; a problem of  inaccurate and outdated information that most cities and municipalities  encounter. 


After the volunteers collected the samples they contracted a certified  lab to conduct the metals testing.  BayKeeper themselves tested several  other parameters such as bacteria and pH levels themselves.  With  funding from a 319(h) grant from the CA Environmental Protection Agency,  BayKeeper was able to purchase the equipment needed to test the water  samples.  In 1999 the Baykeeper, with the help of the California  CoastKeeper and volunteer scientists, implemented a Quality Assurance  Project Plan (QAPP) approved by the state of California that helped to  ensure credible and reliable data.  In January 2002, the LA Regional  Water Quality Control Board set new water quality requirements using the  data provided by the BeachKeeper volunteers in their 2001 report

“Snapshot of the Bay: BeachKeeper Storm Drain Report”.


The Santa Monica BayKeeper attributes their success to the dedication of  their volunteers.  It isn’t easy to obtain and keep about 70 volunteers  involved and happy.  The BayKeeper has a good volunteer base and keeps  them involved and informed with monthly meetings and guest speakers that  are open to the public.  The BeachKeepers are given access to the  results from their collected water samples which instills a sense of  ownership in the program.  By making the volunteers privy to the  findings, they feel like an integral part of the process and are  encouraged  to continue collecting samples. 


In areas with inadequate water monitoring and testing, citizens and  organizations concerned about pollution are filling the void.  To learn  more about the BeachKeeper monitoring program and get ideas on how to  start or improve one in your area, contact Angie Bera of the Santa  Monica BayKeeper at 310.305.9645 x3 or  To view  the 2001 report “Snapshot of the Bay: BeachKeeper Storm Drain Report,”  visit their website at




14.  Featured Water Resource of the Month


Network members at the West Virginia Rivers Coalition have developed a  great resource for West Virginia activists that can easily be adapted to  your state.  The Coalition’s Water Permit Information Center at provides centralized access to  information about specific permits; permit-related laws, regulations,  and guidance; and the agencies involved in the permitting process in  West Virginia.  We encourage interested groups to develop similar  on-line resources for citizens in your state!




Contact CWN Staff


Please use the information below for contacting CWN staff. Note that the email address can also be used to contact CWN with  general clean water concerns.


Eddie Scher, Director, 202-289-2395


Ami Grace, Grassroots Director, 202-289-2421


Lindsey Christ, Program Assistant/Webmaster, 202-289-2422


Linda Young, Southeast Field Coordinator, 850-222-9188


Merritt Frey, Watershed Restoration Program Director, 208-345-7776




Jackie Savitz, Coast Alliance Nancy Stoner, Natural Resources Defense Council




Catherine Hazlewood, The Ocean Conservancy



Ken Midkriff, Sierra Club Martha Noble, Sustainable Agriculture Coalition



Richard Caplan, PIRG



Merritt Frey, CWN Coordinator



Julie Sibbing, NWF Daniel Rosenberg, NRDC


Wet Weather and Funding: Nancy Stoner, NRDC Paul Schwartz, CWA

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