Western states have better waterways

FeliciannaBeing a Californian, I never realized how great our water systems are compared to other places. In my mind, all states were active in water conservation and no place could ever really be as bad as the news made it out to be.

Therefore, I was shocked when I spent my whole summer in the East Coast teaching the public about pollution in rivers and how contaminated the rivers in the East Coast, particularly Virginia, really are.

The East Coast holds the history of our nation. The land there holds the rich and beautiful story of America. To see highly polluted rivers there was heartbreaking. I’ve grown up hearing about the Potomac River and the Hudson River, and to see them filled to the brim with harmful chemicals unsafe for human activity is gut-wrenching and disappointing.

Water conservation is something a state should automatically control. Keeping our nation’s water clean should be a priority in our country.

In 2009, California implemented the Water Conservation Act of 2009, one of the first to be established just for water conservation. The act outlines the plans to keep our waters clean.

More acts like this should occur for the conservation of our environment. They are vital to the future of this country. We can vote for the next president, the next senator or representative, but the protection of natural resources is something that shouldn’t be voted on by partisan opinion. Frankly, we should be focusing on the wellbeing of our land, instead of focusing on someone else’s land in a whole other continent.

Keeping our waters clean isn’t just some tree-hugger talk; polluted waterways are also a huge health hazard for Americans. The Anacostia River in Washington D.C has become so toxic that the fish that swim in it all have cancerous tumors. Fishermen were asked to leave, for the fear that somewhere down the line they would get cancerous tumors as well, and activities like swimming were out of the question.

The freedom to enjoy the land given to us should always be upheld, but upheld in a way that lets us enjoy the land for as long as possible. The convenience of living in Castro Valley and going down to Lake Chabot to fish, which is safe for consumption, shouldn’t be a privilege, but a natural born right for everyone, everywhere. The government should take immediate action in fixing our waters and making sure that they are safe and clean.

In the near future, I hope to see more justice done to the environment, and more acts and laws to help keep bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay and Hudson Bay clean, so that everyone can enjoy the right to a healthy, toxic-free body of water.

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