Guest columnist: Clean water is big business for WNC

Guest columnist: Clean water is big business for WNC.
This summer thousands of people will come to dip their feet into the cool, clear waters of the Davidson River and dip into their wallets at local stores, restaurants and hotels.
Millions of dollars will flow into our local economy when people float down the Nantahala, Tuckasegee, Pigeon, Green and French Broad rivers.
That study found that trout fishing contributes an estimated $383 million annually to our economy and supports about 3,600 jobs — jobs made possible by our clean water.
Dealing with water pollution after it becomes a problem is simply not as effective as keeping it out of water in the first place.
In the decades that followed, our water quality improved because of reduced pollution in streams and rivers protected by the Clean Water Act.
But earlier this year, President Trump announced that he intends to strip Clean Water Act protections from headwater streams and many wetlands.
The administration is then expected to quickly move to eliminate safeguards for headwater streams and many wetlands by proposing a new regulation limiting the Clean Water Act’s reach.
A recent study by Trout Unlimited found that 66 percent of historical trout streams in North Carolina are headwater streams —some of the very streams that would lose Clean Water Act protections under the administration’s proposal.
Polluters might save some money by avoiding pollution controls in streams no longer protected by the Clean Water Act, but the cost of more polluted water would ultimately fall on the public.

Learn More