The League of Women Voters of Sussex County considers the protection of our environment and natural resources to be a priority. As stated on the national League's website: "The preservation of the physical, chemical and biological integrity of the earth’s ecosystem is essential for maximum protection of public health and the environment. The interrelationships of air, water and land resources should be recognized in designing environmental safeguards. The federal government should have the major role in setting standards for environmental protection and pollution control."
The LWVSC seeks to increase public awareness of the influence of human activities on the ecosystem, the efforts to balance the resource demands of industry and the public, and what we can do to influence local government to protect public health and the environment. As a nonpartisan organization, the League of Women Voters encourages informed and active participation in government and seeks to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
As residents of Sussex County, we have witnessed the effects of rapid growth in residential development and agricultural industries on our natural resources. Clean drinking water has become a serious concern, with many wells polluted by chicken processing plants and waste disposal. As a result of those concerns, the Environment & Natural Resources Committee held a series of forums in 2018 to raise awareness of the current well-water contamination and ongoing threats to public health and the environment in Sussex County.
Details from those forums with links to the power point presentations, videos, etc., can be found here.
Advocates for clean water in Delaware, including the League of Women Voters of Delaware, have joined together in The Delaware Clean Water Alliance . This is a broad-based coalition of organizations and stakeholders across the state working together to secure funding for clean water initiatives and to educate people about the importance of clean water. Dedicated funding for clean water is essential for a cleaner environment, healthier crops and food sources, improved economy, and increased tourism.
The Delaware Clean Water Alliance released a online resource called, Citizen's Guide to Clean Water. It provides valuable information about Delaware's watersheds, the need for additional clean water funding, information on the legislative process, how you can lobby for change, and become involved, etc. Please click on the adjacent graphic to view this complete guide for ways you can help protect your water.
5/31/19 UPDATE: House Bill 200, the Clean Water for Delaware Act has arrived. Representative Longhurst, Senator McBride and their colleagues in the House and Senate will announce the introduction of HB 200 on June 5th. According to the bill, the General Assembly finds that our waters are among our most basic and valuable resources and recognizes a compelling interest in ensuring we all have access to clean water. The GA further finds that we are at risk for flooding and drainage hazards, that our economic vitality is dependent on clean water, that most of our waterways fall below standard and some Delawareans do not have access to potable drinking water or basic wastewater disposal. Federal monies are not enough to address these problems and more and for that reason, HB 200 has been released.
Additional Environmental Issues:
The LWVSC continues to explore ways to raise awareness of environmental concerns and how to protect our natural resources. In addition to their continuing focus on clean water in Sussex County, the E&NR committee is investigating other issues to address. Those issues include: improved use of land buffers in new developments, pollution from local industrial compost sites, writing and promoting legislation, etc. This is a great time to join the committee as they establish their next priorities. Check for the next sheduled committee meeting under League Events or contact the committee chair, Nancy Kassner.
Recently committee members participated in the League of Women Voters of Massachusett's webinar, entitled: It's Happening. It's Now: The Climate Reports of 2018, featuring Professor Michael Oppenheimer. Click on this link for access to the webinar, slides, and climate reports, courtesy of the LWVMA.