Over fifty groups sign on in support of changes that will improve climate resilience, water quality outcomes, crop insurance, and conservation efforts, among other important recommendations
Washington, DC—Dozens of environmental, public health, and farm groups across the country sent a letter to Congress this week recommending important measures to improve the 2023 Farm Bill. The letter, signed by over 50 groups, calls on Congress to take steps to prioritize water quality outcomes, modernize crop insurance, limit CAFO funding, and double conservation spending, among other important recommendations. Signers include members and partners of the Clean Water for All Coalition, including: the National Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Policy Innovation Center, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, Clean Water Action, Environmental Law & Policy Center, GreenLatinos, League of Conservation Voters, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Association, and the Sierra Club, among dozens of other notable groups.
The letter begins by urging Congress to support initiatives that will lead to better protections for waterways on agricultural lands.
“The undersigned organizations, representing millions of people across the country who care about clean water, write to urge you to protect our nation’s water supplies through robust and effective support for conservation programs and policies as you are writing the 2023 Farm Bill. The next Farm Bill should further efforts to reduce the threat nutrient pollution poses to clean water and ensure farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to be leading stewards of our shared water resources.”
The letter makes the case to prioritize water quality outcomes for farmers, ranchers, and producers, pointing to practices that will result in less nutrient pollution and cleaner water for all.
“Cover crops, conservation tillage, buffer strips, manure and livestock management, wetland restoration, integrated pest management and conservation crop rotations are just a few examples of water-friendly practices that can help protect water at the source, usually at a lower cost than that incurred by downstream communities to make polluted water safe for drinking, commerce, wildlife, and recreation. Many of these practices have co-benefits to soil health, public health, and more. They can stimulate rural economies and increase the resilience of supply chains.”
The letter goes on to recommend improvements in four key areas: prioritizing water quality outcomes, modernizing crop insurance, limiting CAFO funding, and doubling conservation spending.
The letter closes by making the case that farmers, ranchers, and producers are invested in stewardship of the environment, and that the 2023 Farm Bill must meet the needs of historically underserved agricultural producers, and protect clean water for all.
“In addition to these priorities, we urge you to reject any attempts to add anti-environmental provisions to the Farm Bill and to prioritize the needs of historically underserved producers. Farmers and ranchers want to improve the environment; they want to leave their land and water better for the next generation. To do so, they need Farm Bill programs that invest in their abilities to steward and improve our shared water resources. Because we all need clean water.”
You can read the letter here.
The Clean Water for All Coalition is a national network of organizations who, working together with our partners, aim to elevate the importance of national clean water policies that support health communities, healthy ecosystems, cultural resources, and wildlife.