This past Saturday, October 18th, the Clean Water Act, a primary federal law governing water pollution, celebrated its 42nd anniversary. This law was passed in 1972, after recognizing that only one-third of the country’s waters were apt for fishing, swimming or drinking. 4 decades later, now more than double of the original statistics on waterways are clean and free of pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), now approximately 65% of waterways are “fishable/swimmable” and about 90% of US community water systems meet “all applicable health-based standards”.

clean water for lifeCuyahoga River story and its importance in the Clear Water Act

Back in 1969, the Cuyahoga River, in Ohio, caught fire due to its polluted waters. After decades of dumping industrial waste, the river was a hazard for the entire city. This was not the first fire that occurred.  The industrial city of Cleveland, once a symbol of environmental degradation, had accepted these as consequences of its progress. Nonetheless, the damages and media coverage on this last fire were so extensive that it acted as the final push for the Congress to finally take action. Ever since, the Cuyahoga River fire has been remembered as an event that brought a positive change to the lives of all Americans.

Water Protection today

Even though things have changed for the better, there are still groups fighting to maintain this law and make sure that updates do not bring any negative consequences but rather improve it. The current act is not clear of which bodies of water it protects. For example, headwater streams and salmon spawning grounds are some of which fall under these gray areas. The EPA is proposing a new rule called “Waters of the U.S” where they expect to fix loopholes and clear regulations in the Clean Water Act. Many organizations, such as hunting, birding, fishing and farming, are concerned of the approval of this rule as it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a suitable and clear act that can protect this invaluable resource.

If it weren’t for laws like the Clean Water Act, white-water rafting couldn’t be practiced as freely as we do in our Colorado rivers. Mile Hi Rafting proudly supports and celebrates this and any other positive actions that protect our natural resources and wildlife.

outdoor adventures


Mile Hi Rafting is convenient and its location makes it an ideal destination for day trips and vacations.   We offer child and group discounts, and some of the hottest deals on the river.  We meet any Licensed and Permitted Colorado Outfitters’ Prices on same trip same river and match special pricing as well!  Come see us for your next adventure!

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