Izaak Walton League of America, Inc.
Rating: 5 stars 1 review
Issues: Environment, Water
Location: 707 Conservation Ln Gaithersburg MD 20878 USA
Programs: 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 STREAMSFor 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.CONSERVING WETLANDSWetlands 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 SPECIESIn 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.
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I joined the League 16 years ago and haven't looked back since. I became interested in the mission of the League because I was concerned with our environment and how badly man was screwing it up. This office is the National Headquarters for the League. I started out as "just a member" and have been allowed to reach the title of National Director. It is a volunteer position. My husband kidingly calls me a professional volunteer. I feel it is important to give back and pay forward. This organization has given me the opportunity to pursue the goals for the environment that I have determined to be of value to you, me and our children. I have received the heartiest support from National right from the beginning. When I needed information, it was a phone call or e-mail away. Our members motto begins "to strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources". I have had the latitude to fight for the restriction of access for the Asian Carp-a threat to the Great Lakes-as well as being given time at our National Convention to recruit assistance from chapters all over the country to help preserve a blacksoil prairie here in Indiana. We as a League and individual members fight for the Clean Air Act not being reduced or weakened, land conservation, clean water, and the list goes on. The chapters are offered educational materials to use locally and the support staff takes your concerns seriously. Last year we made the final commitment and joined as Life Members. They do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, or anything else. All they ask is a commitment to the goals of the League. Our main goal is to make sure that our children and grandchildren have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and preservation of wildlife and woodlands. I feel that the member benefits far outweigh the cost of dues. My husband and I serve locally, at the state level and at the National Level. It is worth the time and commitment to us. If you look back to the late 1970's, our water conservation program known as Save our Streams is the model for many of the state's volunteer water monitoring programs all over the country. Indiana has Hoosier Riverwatch (we are also members there) and it is practically written verbatim to the IWLA program. Our membership has grown to about 38,000 members and hopefully will continue to grow as state and federal programs die off. We also have scholarships at all levels - from chapters to state division to National. Many of our scholarship recipients go on to become life-long members of the League. They do this not because they feel obligated but because this is an organization that they can believe in. If you have never heard of us, we have been around since 1922. Google us and find a piece of history. If you have skills, they are welcome. I retired recently and was looking for something to keep the brain sharp and make a difference. I have found that in the Izaak Walton League.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the sixteen years I have been a member. I have watched the League be successful in fighting invasive specie problems with all levels of the League involved. Action alerts go out on a regular basis when there is a situation that requires a member to contact their reps in Congress and local (state) government
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
change very little. I would maybe think about hiring more support staff and paying them a little better so that we can retain qualified people for continuity.