Save the Illinois River, Inc., STIR
Friday, May 20, 2005
Poll: Elected officials must do more to protect supply of clean water
Survey shows concern over pollution in rivers and quality of drinking water
(Washington, DC) Voters around the country identified clean water as a top concern and overwhelmingly prefer cleaning up polluted waters to drinking bottled water, according to a national poll released today by Save the Illinois River, Inc., STIR, and dozens of river and watershed groups across the country. Americans voters overwhelmingly want their local officials to move forward in cleaning up polluted waters and reject accepting bottled water as an alternative to safe and healthy tap water.
“Rivers are the source of tapwater for most Americans, and voters want both to be clean and safe,” said STIR. “Americans shouldn’t fear for their health when swimming in their local rivers, much less turning on their household taps.”
Key findings include:
· When given a choice, 85 percent of voters preferred that “elected officials take significant action to address problems with our water to ensure its safety,” over “adjusting to problems with our water by buying bottled water.”
· 60 percent of voters would be at least “somewhat worried” to learn that their tapwater was drawn from local rivers and streams.
· More than half (51 percent) believe that water in their local rivers has gotten at least “somewhat dirtier” over the past decade.
· Fifty percent were at least “somewhat concerned” that that the tap water in their homes was safe to drink. An additional 28 percent said they were a “little concerned” about its safety.
“Americans want our elected officials to solve water problems,” said STIR. “Public officials are not doing their job when they allow pollution into our rivers – it costs us money and it imperils our health.”
“Clean water and clean rivers and lakes are critical to our communities’ future and the quality of life we pass on to our children,” said STIR. “Taking action to protect clean rivers and clean up polluted rivers is vital if we are to ensure a better future for all Americans.”
"The scenic Illinois River, Barren Fork Creek, and Lake Tenkiller are sources of drinking water for hundreds of thousands of persons. We urge Tahlequah area citizens to support efforts to insure clean, safe drinking water," STIR said.
“Rivers not only provide us with the water we need, they are part of our natural heritage,” said STIR. “We need to protect rivers from pollution and overuse so that our children and grandchildren can go canoeing, fishing, and swimming with their families, too.”
In response to the survey, more than 500 river and watershed groups, sporting and recreation groups, and businesses across the country issued a policy platform, the Citizens’ Agenda for Rivers, calling on local officials across the country to take stronger action to protect the clean water in rivers and streams around the country.
Lake Snell Perry Mermin and Associates surveyed 1,000 registered voters, ages 18 and older nationwide and oversamples of 200 registered voters in the following five states: Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, New York, and Washington. The survey was conducted on behalf of American Rivers and the Citizens’ Agenda for Rivers steering committee between April 14 and 20, 2005. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.1% and the margin of error for the oversamples in the states is +/-6.9%.
For more information about the poll results, please visit www.americanrivers.org or www.healthyrivers.org
STIR is a Tahlequah-based non profit organization chartered to protect the Illinois River, its tributaries, and Lake Tenkiller. For additional information about STIR, see http://www.illinoisriver.org