SUMMERSVILLE, WV (WVNS) — The Clean Water Act celebrates its 50th birthday this year and local organizations hosted a early birthday party in celebration.

West Virginia is full of rivers, lakes, creeks and streams and if it wasn’t for 50 years of the Clean Water Act, we might not be able to use all these bodies of water the way we want to.

“One thing I love about the clean water act is that its mission is to make our water swimmable, fishable and drinkable and what’s better than that,” Kathleen Tyner, Outreach Manager at West Virginia Rivers Coalition said.

To celebrate the big 5-0 the West Virginia Rivers Coalition partnered up with Active Southern West Virginia, The National Parks Conservation Association, the DEP and the USDA to hold a birthday party for this landmark legislation.

“Water is integral to our lives. We need it to survive and I think that goes back to the clean water act.
fishable, swimmable, drinkable that’s what we need. We need it for the food we grow the water we drink, the chores we do at home and the fun we have out on the water like here at Summersville lake,” Tyner said.

There were activities for all age ranges. You could learn how to filter contaminated water, check out the different parts of the water cycle and even go paddle boarding with Active Southern West Virginia.

Melanie Seiler is the Executive Director for Active Southern West Virginia. She said their goal is to get people out and active and having clean water is an important part of that.

“We want to promote physical activity and people being in the great outdoors and all the resources we have in West Virginia and in order to do that we need accessible clean places for people to be active so the two go hand and hand we need physical activity and beautiful safe places to do that,” Seiler said.

Tyner said there are elements to the clean water act that are missing like protection from emerging chemicals and making sure that ALL water is protected. The West Virginia Rivers Coalition is working to get those elements added to the act.

Tyner also mentioned exposing children to the importance of water at a young age is critical for the future

“For kids to understand that our water is a limited resource and that we have to be good stewards of it is critical. Kids are our leaders tomorrow so if they are interested in protecting water today and protecting our environment today we know they will be good decision makers when they grow up,” Tyner said.

If you would like to get involved with West Virginia Rivers Coalition you can contact them at wvrivers.org.

Active Southern West Virginia has tons of activities planned for this summer. That information can be found on their website activeswv.org.