CELP has hosted and participated in three annual Clean & Abundant Water lobby days, the first in 2019, the second in 2020, and the third in 2021. We work in Olympia to improve water management laws and to stop bills that have the potential to harm rivers and aquifers. This work is largely done by collaborating with other stakeholders and agencies to solve water problems. Each year we urge our legislators to adopt sound and sustainable policies to better manage and protect our water resources.
In 2021, Clean & Abundant Water lobby day looked a little different. It was hosted virtually due to COVID19 as a week long lobby effort. We are thankful for RE Sources who coordinated lobby week and all of our partners, North Sound Baykeeper, Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, and Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team, for keeping Clean & Abundant Water lobby day/week alive. We advocated for funding for the Nooksack River basin adjudication, reducing plastic pollution and improving recycling, preventing damaging seabed mining, and the reuse of greywater. We met virtually with lawmakers as well as had over 670 people send emails to their legislators in support of these bills.
In 2020, we partnered with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and others to gather our communities to speak with legislators about our priorities for clean flowing waters for all. During the 2020 lobby day we had over 60 attendees from 27 legislative districts come together to receive hands-on advocacy training and dive into lobbying our priority bills. We were able to meet with more than 45 legislators or their staff to show our support for these bills to protect our waters and environment. Of our 6 priority bills in the 2020 legislative session four were passed and signed into law. Including:
1. Suction Dredge Mining Ban (ESHB 1261 ) 2. Drought Preparedness and Response (ESHB 1622 ) 3. Water & Energy Conservation C-PACER (E2SHB 2405 ) 4. Reusable Bag Bill (ESSB 5323) CELP also supported the Low-Water Landscaping bill (HB 1165 ) which was also signed into law.
Special thanks to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance for coordinating lobby day 2020 with us. Thanks to Waterkeeper Alliance groups Columbia Riverkeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, North Sound Baykeeper, and Twin Harbors Waterkeeper, and to Trout Unlimited, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, the Lewis County Water Alliance, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and everyone else who made it to Olympia to support clean and abundant water.
Our lobby days and work in Olympia would not be possible without our Government Affairs Specialist, Bruce Wishart. Our Outreach Coordinator, Nick Manning coordinated the 2019 and 2020 lobby days and we are thankful for all the work he did for CELP while he was here. If you are interested in lobbying or helping organize lobby day email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.