Clean water is essential to life. Unfortunately, 40 percent of the nation’s assessed streams, lakes, and estuaries are not clean enough to support fishing and swimming. As an organization founded by anglers, the Izaak Walton League believes this is simply unacceptable. That’s why we are committed to improving the health of America’s waterways through local action and national advocacy.
MONITORING AND RESTORING STREAMS
For 40 years, the League’s Save Our Streams program has taught thousands of citizens how to monitor and restore the health of local streams. Guided by our publications, workshops, expert consultation, and other tools, citizens become active stewards of their local waterways. In addition to assessing water quality, our volunteers take action, such as notifying state agencies of pollution problems or planting trees along stream banks to reduce erosion and improve fi sh habitat.
Wetlands provide critical habitat for countless birds, amphibians, fi sh, insects, and other species. They also act as natural filters, cleansing pollutants from groundwater and runoff. Unfortunately, since the 1600s, more than half of America’s wetlands have been drained. Protecting those that remain is vital to safeguarding clean water and habitat. The Izaak Walton League educates Americans about wetland ecology, functions, and values, and provides communities with the tools they need to conserve these valuable ecosystems. Aided by our Protect Our Wetlands program, our American Wetlands Month campaign, hands-on workshops, easy-to-read educational materials, and technical assistance from our staff, our volunteers are leading the fight to conserve our nation’s remaining wetlands.
STOPPING THE SPREAD OF INVASIVE SPECIES
In recent years, invasive species such as zebra mussels and Eurasian milfoil have infested America’s waterways, crowding out native species and causing billions of dollars in damage to marinas, recreational fi sheries, and other facilities. One way these plants and animals spread between waterways is via recreational boaters, who unknowingly transport invasives on their equipment. To combat the spread, the Izaak Walton League launched a nationwide Clean Boats Campaign. Through public service announcements, articles, and a Web site, www.cleanboats.org
, millions of boaters are now learning how to properly clean their gear so that they don’t spread harmful invasive species from one waterway to another.