Latino Conservation Alliance applauds Clean Water Rule

CR Neal Herbert NPS

WASHINGTON –The Latino Conservation Alliance – a group of six national Latino organizations dedicated to representing a diverse array of Latino communities to conserve our natural heritage for future generations—released the following statement applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Rule, which clarifies protections for streams and wetlands, announced yesterday:

“Water is the lifeblood of our environment and as demands grow we need to be vigilant in protecting against pollution and keeping our ecosystems intact. Our river systems are an integral part of our Hispanic heritage and way of life. It's our moral obligation to conserve the landscape, rivers, wildlife and natural historical places for future generations.

“Safeguarding our nation’s water supply is of vital importance to the Latino community, which depends on clean water to support their families’ health and well-being, conduct traditional acequia farming and ranching practices, and participate in outdoor activities along streams and rivers. Families, anglers, hunters, farmers, recreationists and even businesses depending upon reliable water supplies will benefit from this rule.

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Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by poor water quality in regions throughout the United States. For example, more than one third (38%) of U.S. Latinos live in states supplied with water by the Colorado River basin—a major river system that has been impacted by toxic pollution.  Furthermore, Latinos want more done to protect our nation’s waterways. A 2012 Sierra Club and National Council of La Raza poll found that 72 percent of Latino voters agree that “environmental regulations protect our health and our families by lowering toxic levels of mercury, arsenic, carbon dioxide and other lifethreatening pollution in our air and water.”

“We applaud the EPA’s leadership in adopting the Clean Water Rule, which will provide strong, clear protections for our nation’s water systems and protect the health and well-being of our families, communities, rivers and streams for future generations.”

Founded in December 2014, the Latino Conservation Alliance members include: GreenLatinos, Hispanic Access Foundation, Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO), Hispanic Federation, La Madre Tierra and Latino Outdoors.