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The Long Road from Pollution to Protection: 50 Years of the Clean Water Act
June 18 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am CDTFree
We all live in a watershed, and our human footprints impact them all. Join us for a living history of the state of water quality in Maine by aquatic biologist Matt Scott. Matt will focus on the history of Maine’s polluted waterways based on past records and deep personal and work history. The beginning of this living history perhaps dates back to the industrial revolution with Maine’s recovery from the great depression and World War II. Water quality degradation of our aquatic environment continued and it took decades for this problem to become evident and influence public policy. During this time, Maine’s major rivers (St John, Penobscot, Kennebec, Androscoggin, Presumpscot, Saco and their major tributaries) were heavily impacted by pollution. However, with the passage of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972, led by Maine Senator Ed Muskie, things were set to change for the better. We made progress in lake protection and river and stream water quality improvement, beginning with treatment of major municipal and industrial waste We also saw the adoption of biological with narrative and numerical standards developed by the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Biological Division led by David Courtemanch and his staff. From 2005-2015, Maine was able to demonstrate how far it had come with a new classification system and mapping of those waters that have been protected by revised and new water quality standards.