Earth Day in Montana

Today we celebrate the 45th Earth Day and remember the first Earth Day in 1970, when 20 million Americans took to the streets to demand clean water, clean air and the protection of America’s natural resources.

That first Earth Day was such a galvanizing event that it helped spur the passage of most of America’s modern environmental laws.

For the most part, the laws born from that first Earth Day still stand today. But laws are useless if they are not enforced and, unfortunately, many of our present government agencies and elected officials do not do their part to stop pollution and hold polluters accountable. Thankfully, Congress included citizen-suit provisions in some of our environmental laws so that citizen advocates – such as Waterkeeper programs – can stand up to pollution and polluters, as if Congress knew money would eventually play an even greater role in politics, to the point that most politicians are now more beholden to polluting industries than to the people.

This isn’t a problem unique to the United States. Governments across the world turn a blind eye to polluters and pollution. That is why a global network of Waterkeepers is so important; we are making change happen at the local level on six continents in spite of government intransigence and corporate opposition. If the last 45 years have proven anything, it is that Waterkeepers are often the last line of defense for struggling communities and disenfranchised citizens, and that the Waterkeeper model works.In Earth Day 2015, we join millions around the world in demanding clean, readily available water and a healthful environment for Montanans.  The 25,000 sq. mi of SW and West-Central Montana’s Upper Missouri River Basin is but the headwaters of the greater Missouri and Mississippi River Basins, where our waters eventually supply water to millions of downstream citizens and uncounted critters.

Because our headwaters river basin is so important to not only citizens of Montana, but untold resources and communities downstream, we will continue our strong advocacy pushing for science-based, meaningful rules and decisionmaking that creates strong protections for our rivers, fisheries, and communities now and for future generations.

Join Upper Missouri Waterkeeper as a member this Earth Day and help us defend the Last, Best Place’s rivers!  Click here to become a member, today!

To clean water,
Your Upper Missouri Waterkeeper