North Flats Guiding opposes weakening Clean Water Rule

"I choose to live and work in a place where the rivers meet the ocean. It’s my family’s home, and my business is here," says Capt. David Blinken, who owns North Flats Guiding in East Hampton, N.Y.  "We live here because we choose to live in a place that means so much to us. We live here because we fish here. We fish for striped bass, bluefish and false albacore in the best waters of the East Coast. And those fish are here because of clean water."

David is not alone. Many TU Business members have come out against the proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to reverse the 2015 Waters of the U.S. Rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule. This proposal would remove the protections the rule provides to thousands of small headwaters streams across the US. But the streams that feed the rivers of the Northeast are Blinken's particular concern.

"We all live downstream. For this reason, it is critical that the Clean Water Act controls pollution at its source — the headwaters and upstream wetlands that give rise to larger streams and rivers below. The Clean Water Act— and the 2015 Clean Water Rule  supporting it — were designed to ensure that our nation’s small waters remain intact, and that the water flowing from them is fresh and clean," says the longtime striper guide. 

The health of these headwaters streams has been a long-time concern for TU. Small streams that may only flow for portions of the year provide critical elements of habitat for fish across the US. These are the streams that determine the health of larger streams and rivers, and the ones that determine the future of many fisheries, especially the estuaries where David and his clients fish. 

"We must prevent the repeal and replacement of a critical rule that impacts us all," says Blinken. "Our local water is only as clean as what happens to it upstream. We cannot, and I will not sit idly by and allow the proposed changes to go through unopposed. I demand that this proposal be rejected and that the protections offered under the Clean Water Rule be continued on behalf of my family, our home and our health and well-being."


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