To the editor:
New Yorkers do love swimming in our beautiful lakes. Unfortunately, pollution can ruin a day at the beach and make swimmers sick. In our latest Safe for Swimming? report, our researchers found that the water was potentially unsafe at 172 New York beaches on at least one day tested last year. 15 beaches had enough fecal indicator bacteria to put swimmers at risk one out of every four days tested.
Runoff pollution and sewage overflows are common sources of pathogens in our water. To stop this pollution, we need to fix our outdated water infrastructure. In July, the U.S. House passed the INVEST in America Act — a bill that not only provides urgently needed funding to stop sewage overflows but also dedicates at least 15 percent of those funds to green projects — including nature-based solutions that prevent runoff pollution from flowing into our rivers, lakes, and streams. Kudos to Rep. Antonio Delgado who voted for this measure.
When our country came together to pass the Clean Water Act nearly 50 years ago, we set a goal of making all our waterways safe for swimming. Let’s do it.
Chloe Holder, Intern
Environment New York