America's Great Waters

Tue, May 01, 2012 at 12:00AM

“From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the Puget Sound to the Chesapeake Bay, our Great Waters are the lifeblood of our nation, driving regional economies and shaping Americans’ daily lives.”

Say Hello to America's Great Waters Coalition, an alliance of more than 70 national, regional, state and local organizations working together to  protect, preserve, and restore the United States' notable waterways. The coalition is a result of years of work to bring the restoration community together to "raise all boats."

The goals of the America's Great Waters Coalition are to make the restoration of great waters a national priority, secure sustainable dedicated funding for it, and to enact and ensure sound implementation of restoration projects. Formed in 2009, the coalition lobbies lawmakers and officials to support improvements efforts for the waterways.

Our great waterways and their ecosystems sustain our existence, providing us with clean drinking water, amazing recreational opportunities and a conduit for transportation, while hosting diverse fish and wildlife communities. In other words, the collective health of residents, public lands and waterways are all interconnected.

In Florida, for instance, both the St. Johns River and the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin were recently added to the list, joining 18 additional waterways across the nation, including the Everglades and the Mississippi River.

Mark Middlebrook, executive director of the St. Johns River Alliance, said the river “provides a myriad of recreational opportunities amid its complex ecosystem. There are communities along the river that have been continuously inhabited for 6,000 years.”

Water quality and the need for funds to restore those waterways by including them among the country’s Great Waters is the first step to changing national perception.

The Great Waters Coalition, the American Heritage River Initiative (established by the Clinton administration) and local river Friends groups or alliances, all look for resources to restore our rivers and enhance recreational opportunities by preserving, managing, and improving the water, fish and other plant and wildlife, for all of us.

Here is the link to a map of America’s Great Waters:

Let’s hope one day all the world’s major waterways are highlighted and enjoyed by Monterey owners everywhere!


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