The Power & Promise of the Clean Water Act
for the next 50 Years

Almost 50 years ago, the United States recognized that access to clean, safe water is a critical human right
and passed the Clean Water Act (CWA).

This powerful law ended the culture of dumping raw sewage and untreated industrial waste into our waters and led to a dramatic improvement in the health and safety of waterways across the country. 2022 marks a monument year in which we can celebrate the power and promise of this revolutionary law to protect communities around the country and in our region.

The Clean Water Act, a truly revolutionary law, put enforcement into the hands of impacted community members. Since 1972, community activists, including Waterkeepers across the nation, have used this powerful tool to build a legacy of protecting clean water. We are launching the Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Campaign (CWA50) to use this anniversary to catalyze the past successes into a cleaner, more just future. 

Waterkeepers Chesapeake, along with clean water advocates around the world, seeks to celebrate the movement for clean water. Working together in our communities, we will design local events and uplift stories to highlight clean water successes. The events and stories will provide a forum for local leaders in clean water advocacy -- community activists, outdoor enthusiasts, business owners, farmers, watermen, clergy, property owners, educators – to build a movement that addresses the challenges of today and the next 50 years. The full promise of the Clean Water Act has yet to be met. Too many communities have been unjustly burdened by pollution due to the deeply-imbedded systemic racism plaguing our regulatory systems. These communities are also the first to face the local consequences of a changing climate: unnatural cycles of flooding and drought, increased pests and diseases, and storm damages.

Join us!

Will you join the team to help us plan the Clean Water Act 50th celebrations? We need your help and participation to create a campaign with the vision of fulfilling the promise of the Clean Water Act —fishable and swimmable waters for everyone.

Clean Water Stories:  The need for clean water transcends political, racial, social, and economic boundaries. Let’s elevate the voices of people who have successfully used the Clean Water Act to protect their communities as well as those still fighting for justice and to protect their communities from pollution!

Clean Water Celebrations: Local leaders are needed to help build celebratory events that will engage their communities. We plan to have 50 celebratory events throughout the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays region. These can vary from kayak trips and river clean ups to spoken word and story slams. We hope to partner with old friends and new to reconnect people to the waterways around them and build local leadership.

Clean Water Advocacy: While the Clean Water Act has done a great deal to restore our waterways, there is still a lot left to do to fully implement the act at the state and local level. Additionally, challenges like climate change were not envisioned when the law was created, and BIPOC communities have largely been left out of the success stories. Let’s work together for better clean water laws for our communities.

Contact Robin Broder at to become a CWA50 partner!

CWA50 website coming soon!