[audubon-news] Arthur Feinstein Honored as Clean Water Act Hero

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To:
  • Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 14:47:25 -0400

Contact: Dev Novack
        Arthur Feinstein

30 Clean Water Act Heroes Honored for Landmark Law's 30th Anniversary

San Francisco, CA, October 18, 2002 - The Clean Water Network, an alliance
that represents over 1000 environmental organizations nationwide, has named
Golden Gate Audubon's Executive Director, Arthur Feinstein, a national hero
as a result of his longstanding commitment to implementing the Clean Water
Act (CWA). 

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, commonly viewed as
one of the most successful environmental laws ever passed in the U.S. To
help mark this event, The Clean Water Network will name a total of 30 people
as heroes for their extraordinary dedication to keeping the CWA's promise of
better water quality for all Americans. This award honors Arthur Feinstein's
significant contributions to protecting and restoring wetlands and coastal

Mr. Feinstein, who is also a member of the Audubon California Board of
Directors, has focused much of his work on the wetlands and wildlife of the
San Francisco Bay Estuary. He has also worked on state and federal wetlands
protections, including co-founding the Campaign to Save California Wetlands.
His most important victory to date has been in helping to lead grassroots
efforts against the 1994 Contract with America's attacks on wetlands.

"If not for the Clean Water Act, things would be a lot worse. We were losing
hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands every year," Feinstein says,
adding that much remained to be done. "After 30 years of the CWA we no
longer have rivers catching on fire, as the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland did
in 1969. But 39% of our rivers or streams are still unfit for swimming or
fishing." Feinstein has been heartened that the Clean Water Act has helped
slow the rate of wetland loss and even allowed the beginnings of wetland
restoration. But he cautions that the Bush administration now proposes to
roll back many of the CWA's gains.

"Arthur's tenacity has resulted in many acres of wetlands being restored and
protected in San Francisco Bay. He's a true advocate for the program and he
deserves this honor," said Loretta K. Barsamian, Executive Officer of the
San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

At the state level, Feinstein is an advocate of Proposition 50, the Water
Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002. It
would authorize the state to issue $3.4 billion in bonds to fund water
quality, security, conservation, and watershed restoration projects
throughout California. The bonds proposed in Proposition 50 provide a unique
blend of funding for water projects and money for ecosystem conservation,
including significant funding for restoring rivers, streams, creeks, and
wetlands in the San Francisco Bay watershed. It would allow California to
complete the purchase of 16,500 acres of historic San Francisco Bay wetlands
from Cargill Salt. Prop 50 would further enable the state to develop and
begin implementing salt pond restoration plans, creating new Bay shoreline,
open space areas and wildlife habitat.

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat
that supports them. Our national network of community-based Audubon nature
centers and chapters, environmental education programs, and advocacy on
behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of
people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.

The Clean Water Network is an alliance of over 1,000 organizations working
together to protect, enforce, and strengthen the Clean Water Act. For more
information, visit our website at www.cwn.org <http://www.cwn.org>
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