Advocates and Lawmakers Celebrate 45th Anniversary of Clean Water Act

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lansing, MI – On Wednesday October 18, Clean Water Action staff and volunteers met with Michigan lawmakers to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. “The Clean Water Act was the most significant piece of federal legislation to protect the Great Lakes. As a Legislature, we must build on its legacy and create policies that will preserve Michigan’s most precious resource for future generations,” said State House Representative Yousef Rabhi.

The Clean Water Act was passed by a large bipartisan coalition in Congress and took effect on October 18, 1972. It was passed in response to growing concerns about water pollution in our rivers and lakes. While water quality has improved over the last 45 years, there are still major water contamination issues today. According to a Michigan State University study conducted in 2015, all 64 rivers examined in lower Michigan tested higher than the national water quality standard for E. coli contamination.

Combined sewer overflows and failing septic systems alone account for an average of 15.1 billion gallons of raw sewage entering Michigan’s lakes and rivers annually. Other water quality issues commonly stem from chemical contamination, or from outdated lead and copper drinking water infrastructure. “To fulfill the goals of the Clean Water Act, we must rebuild our water infrastructure, which will prevent billions of gallons of raw sewage from entering our rivers and lakes each year,” said Mary Brady-Enerson, Michigan Director of Clean Water Action.

“Michigan residents understand the importance of protecting the Great Lakes, 20% of the world’s fresh water, and the drinking water source for 48 million people,” said Senator Rick Jones. “The water of the Great Lakes is our most precious natural resource, and all Michiganders should work together to protect our lakes for future generations.”


Clean Water Action is Michigan’s largest grassroots conservation group with over 250,000 members across the state. Through direct advocacy and education they organize Michigan residents to protect the Great Lakes and our water resources. Learn more at

Sean McBrearty
Michael Kelly
202-895-0420 x 103