The Clean Water Act is 50! Let’s Make it Even Better

Presentation by Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper Rachel Bartels and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center Staff Attorney Bob Menees

Rachel Bartels and and Bob Menees of Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper share the history of the Clean Water Act.

Published: August 9, 2022

Presentation by Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper Rachel Bartels and Great Rivers Environmental Law Center Staff Attorney Bob Menees

Click here to view the presentation on YouTube.

Clean Water Act

Hosted by Missouri River Relief

In October 1972, the U.S. passed the Clean Water Act. It was a game-changer for the waters of our country, for the first time making it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters without a permit. It empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce these new rules, gave the E.P.A. the ability to strengthen the rules as needed to protect the nation’s waters and the mandate to work with states to punish polluters and solve emerging pollution problems.

But it takes an engaged citizenry to really make this work. The Waterkeeper movement is a crucial part of monitoring the health of our rivers, pushing our government agencies to punish polluters and working with communities to solve environmental and justice issues.

Several years ago, Rachel Bartels and Bob Menees started the Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper organization based in St. Louis, MO.

In this presentation, Rachel and Bob shared the impact and successes of the Clean Water Act as well as its shortcomings. Furthermore, they discussed what work is being done now to strengthen the law and guard against politically driven attacks on the powers that protect our rivers, wetlands, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters.

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The Big Muddy Speaker Series in Rocheport

is hosted by these wonderful partners.

Click here for a list of upcoming presentations»

Special thanks to Les Bourgeois Vineyards for giving us the opportunity to use their beautiful space overlooking the Missouri River. All speakers are presenting for free! Thank you all for sharing your knowledge with us!

The Big Muddy Speaker Series also takes place in  St. Charles where it is hosted by Greenway Network.


The views and opinions expressed by our presenters do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of Missouri River Relief, the Big Muddy Speaker Series or any of the partners that support this public forum. The Big Muddy Speaker Series believes that hearing diverse perspectives is a crucial building block for an informed public.


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