March 25, 2012 12:06 am

LEO Networks With the Members of the WPN


WPN Annual Meeting in St. Louis MO, March 2012

The Water Protection Network (WPN) had their annual membership meeting in the St. Louis Loop last week. What a great gathering of organizations and solution driven people.

The message was that we are ushering in a new era of stewardship for America’s rivers, wetlands and coast. As a coalition of organizations we have more individual capacity and collective power to change policy.

The Federal Government’s investments in water projects have a profound impact on the bodies of water we hold in trust as the American people. Projects often do harm to the natural environment, waste taxpayer dollars and put the public at greater risk from natural disasters. All we have to do is remember this past year when levees broke, farmland was lost and a nuclear reactor was threatened on the Upper Missouri River.

The WPN brings together a variety of advocacy interests as seemingly different as the The Heartland Institute and the Sierra Club.  I felt right at home given how LEO has brought together environmentalists, farmers, big business and small business…it is a reflection of the community.  I particularly enjoyed the panel headed by Steve Ellis of the Taxpayers for Common Sense. He and Eli Leher of and the Heartland Institute argued that there is common ground between many conservatives and liberals on the environment. Doing it right protects people, protects the environment and saves money. Protecting flood corridors, saves money because floodplains are for containing floods.

Forming partnerships with other organizations in the WPN is the force necessary to shift the focus of water planning.  Clean water and vibrant water corridors benefit everyone. The billions in water filtration, flood management and healthy food production that floodplains and rivers naturally provide…should never be taken for granted.

Policy makers also realize how important our water resources are both today and for future generations. At the start of the conference, Mayer Slay’s office presented the gathering with a declaration to honor the WPN while they visited the great city of St. Louis.

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