Healthy Rivers Equals Healthy Communities
When I woke up this morning I could hear the rain falling outside my window. It made me think about the 1.6 billion gallons of polluted stormwater and raw sewage that makes its way into our rivers each year. When it rains, DC's parking lots, streets and rooftops funnel polluted runoff laden with bacteria, trash and toxics into our waters, making them unsafe for fishing and swimming. This is important to me because my work as Executive Director of DC Greenworks involves building green roofs that capture and cleanse rainwater runoff, harvesting it as a resource and creating new, green jobs for our city.
You can join me in taking positive action for clean water and greener, healthier neighborhoods in DC. Let's work together to stem the flow of polluted runoff to the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek. The opportunity we have for the next month - between now and June 4, 2010 - is to help establish a clean water program with accountability for the District of Columbia.
Like other cities and urban counties nationwide, the District of Columbia is required to address polluted runoff with a clean water act permit issued roughly every five years. The EPA has just issued a new "DRAFT" polluted runoff permit to the District, in April, 2010, for the public to review. This permit can help DC to stem the flow of polluted runoff and restore our waters to full health - if it contains specific pollution reduction requirements, with accountability for meeting cleanup targets and deadlines.
Join me in telling EPA you want a strong stormwater permit that promotes healthy rivers and healthy communities. Green roofs, and other green infrastructure projects, are economic drivers that can create new jobs for residents during these hard times.
I know this because my organization is part of a growing movement that is creating new jobs each day focused on restoring our rivers and creeks. Green infrastructure can also help build a vibrant waterfront that will promote livable, walkable, healthy neighborhoods on both sides of the Anacostia River. Green infrastructure can also help the District be a leading green city and help District of Columbia Mayor Fenty reach his stated goals of 40% green roof and tree canopy coverage.
New jobs and healthy communities make this a win-win situation.
Peter Ensign, Executive Director, DC Greenworks
DC Environmental Network
1907 Park Road NW #B | Washington, DC 20010
Office (202) 518-8782 | Cell (202) 421-7319
The DC Environmental Network, founded in 1996, is working toward a vision of rebuilding Washington, DC's neighborhoods and communities for long-term economic stability - accomplishing this by protecting and restoring the Capital City's urban environment.
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