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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 19, 1998
                    ON THE CLEAN WATER ACTION PLAN

I am pleased to join President Clinton today in announcing a new vision and new resources to restore and protect America's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. While this is a national initiative, it is important to recognize that our action plan responds to, and builds upon, leadership demonstrated by Governors and communities across the country.

As President Clinton and I unveil our new Clean Water Action Plan in Baltimore, Governor Carlson will be in Minnesota announcing another innovative federal-state partnership protecting water quality through the Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP). As part of our Action Plan, I asked Secretary Glickman to speed completion of pending CREP agreements, and I applaud Governor Carlson for meeting our challenge. The Minnesota agreement will deliver more than $200 million to encourage Minnesota farmers to adopt conservation measures that enhance water quality.

In charting a new approach to clean water, our Action Plan builds on Governor Kitzhaber's pioneering work in protecting Oregon's waters from polluted runoff. We hope to bring new tools and new resources to Oregon's effort, while providing new support for other states undertaking similar efforts.

The action plan also will assist communities working to protect vital drinking water sources. Governor Shaheen's efforts on behalf of New Hampshire have helped shaped this new effort, and we hope to reward this type of leadership in states across the country.

Finally, it is imperative that we recognize the role that community-based efforts nation-wide have played in shaping the initiative we announce today. Our ambitious wetlands goals can only be achieved with the help of community restoration efforts, like those in the Mississippi Delta. In Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has created a new partnership with Ducks Unlimited to restore 125,000 acres of wetlands. In Louisiana, we are grateful for the efforts of Senator John Breaux to support a magnificent coastal wetlands restoration effort under the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act.

I look forward to supporting these and other groups across the country as we work toward cleaner waters for a new generation of Americans.