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Posted In: Environment

Free Beer! Join JRA April 2nd for ‘Clean Water Happy Hour’

Ben Watson

March 29, 2019 6:58am
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In Virginia, outdoor recreation is a billion dollar business — $21.9 billion to be more precise. That’s how much Virginia’s outdoor industry generates in consumer spending each year, supporting 197,000 direct jobs and $1.7 billion in state and local tax revenue. Not only are healthy rivers essential to this industry — Virginians rely on them for clean drinking water. But last month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced troubling changes to the Clean Water Act, a bedrock environmental law that has protected the health of Americans and our water since 1972.

This about-face from EPA’s previous policy places roughly 65% of the James River’s stream miles at risk. Three out of every four Virginians rely on healthy headwaters for clean drinking water, including 2.7 million in the James watershed. Land disturbance, construction or discharge of wastewater are a few examples of activities that would normally be regulated and require careful planning and permitting to minimize impacts to water quality. If these vulnerable streams lose federal protections, it hurts our ability to prevent bad actors upstream from polluting drinking water downstream.

Join us at Triple Crossing – Fulton
April 2nd from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m
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to learn more about what the EPA’s Dirty Water Rule means for the James River and clean water.

Clean water is good for business and good for Virginia. But the EPA is going in the wrong direction — to a time when unchecked pollution kept our rivers off limits. Next week, we’re raising our voices, and our glasses, for clean water, and calling on the EPA to reject the Dirty Water Rule. First 30 people in the door get a beer on us. See you there!


About Ben Watson

Born and raised in Richmond, Ben spent his early years rock hopping on the James River with family and friends. His appreciation for the outdoors led him to a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Watershed Management from Virginia Tech. After college, he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail before completing a Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin, studying climate and vegetation change. During his time as a tutor and teaching assistant, he came to fully realize his devotion and dedication to science outreach and education, which are attributes he now hopes to apply to a familiar community he cares deeply about. As an Educator with the James River Association, Ben is thrilled to teach about the importance of the ecology, conservation, and restoration of the James to the citizens of its watershed.


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