Here’s how Marylanders use and enjoy our waterways, by the numbers.
For Immediate Release: September 4, 2014
Contact: Joanna Diamond, 410-467-0439, [email protected]
Pocomoke River, Assateague, and other waterways key to summer fun
Baltimore, MD- Every summer, Marylanders and other visitors flock to our waterways to seek relief from the summer heat and this summer was no different. Maryland saw more than 8 million visitors in our national parks with waterways, according to Environment Maryland’s new Summer Fun Index. The new fact sheet comes as summer draws to close, and as officials consider a new rule to restore protections for 59% of the state’s rivers and streams.
“We all know clean water means summer fun. There’s nothing quite like tubing near Gunpowder Falls every summer,” said Joanna Diamond, Director of Environment Maryland. “Our Summer Fun Index shows how important it is to protect our waters.”
According to the index, fishing and boating are popular activities for Marylanders, in addition to enjoying waterways in our state parks.
Despite their popularity, more than 10,000 miles of Maryland’s streams are not guaranteed protection under the nation’s Clean Water Act, thanks to a loophole in the law secured by developers and other polluters nearly a decade ago.
In March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to restore protections for the headwaters, streams, and wetlands left in limbo by the loophole; but agribusinesses, oil companies, and others are campaigning heavily against it. Next week the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill, H.R. 5078, to block the rule.
EPA is taking public comments on the measure through the fall. Environment Maryland has already gathered more than 10,000 public comments in favor of restoring Clean Water Act protections to all of Maryland’s waterways.
“Whether we enjoy them for fishing, boating, or swimming, we all have a stake in the health of the Pocomoke River, Assateague, and the rest of our waterways,” said Diamond. “We should be doing everything we can to protect all of our rivers, lakes and streams.”
Environment Maryland is a statewide, citizen-based advocacy group working for the places we love and the environmental values we share. www.EnvironmentMaryland.org