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John Rumpler
Senior Director, Clean Water for America Campaign and Senior Attorney

Why do we need federal protection under the Clean Water Act if there are also state laws designed to protect our rivers and streams? The answer is that, all too often, state officials fail to enforce their own laws or side with politically-powerful polluters.

As the world struggles during the next two weeks (and beyond) to stave off the worst impacts of global warming, I hope leaders will look to California and see that it can be done.

We all want our teeth to be clean after brushing, and our bodies to be clean after showering, but did you know the products used in these everyday activities could be harming wildlife? Hundreds of commonly-used household products contain tiny plastic microbeads, which can be a big problem for our environment. 

Last year at this time, the toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie caused nearly half a million people in and around Toledo, Ohio, to be without safe drinking water. Clean water from our taps is something that many of us take for granted, but if we don’t protect our water sources — like the residents of Toledo discovered — we won’t be able to take it for granted anymore.

The Marine Exchange is housed in a small hilltop building in Angel’s Gate Park in City Council District 15. Blessed with steady winds and reliable sunshine, it is perfectly positioned to generate its own power. In 2012, the Marine Exchange installed four wind turbines and 286 solar panels, enough to produce 87 kilowatts of energy during times of peak production. The wind turbines and most of the solar panels are located on the building’s roof; additional panels are placed on the ground around the building. Wind and solar now meet all of the Marine Exchange’s electricity needs, with some power leftover to feed back into the grid.