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A path to cleaner water, then a fresh look at Cuba on Peace & Justice this Wednesday, January 20 at 9am

Written by on Sunday, January 17, 2021

This Wednesday, January 20th at 9am, our first guest will be Jenna Stevens, State Director of Environment Florida. She’ll talk about their new report A Path to Cleaner Water.

“America’s waterways are a national asset. They are the places we swim on hot summer days, kayak with friends and family, spend a relaxing day fishing, and so much more. Yet billions of gallons of stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continue to pollute our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. As a result, all too often our beaches are unsafe for swimming, communities are flooded with sewage, and toxic algal outbreaks threaten wildlife and public health. Absent strong action from our leaders, these pollution problems will worsen in coming years, as overdevelopment and more intense storms put greater burdens on our fraying water infrastructure systems.

“Stormwater and wastewater management systems are part of America’s water infrastructure; when properly maintained they can prevent pollution. But as a nation, we have failed to keep our water infrastructure in working order. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. wastewater infrastructure a D+ grade in 2017.

“If we want clean water, our nation will have to make a substantial investment in repairing and updating our infrastructure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that wastewater and stormwater systems will require an investment of $271 billion over the next 20 years to meet demands.  This is likely a conservative estimate for actual investment requirements in the coming years.

“With investment in clean water, America can deploy nature-based or green infrastructure – such as vegetated buffers, rain barrels, and constructed wetlands – to help prevent combined sewage overflows and capture stormwater before it sweeps pollutants into our waterways. Simply fixing and updating our aging and often outdated sewage infrastructure will also reduce this pollution.”

Our second guest will be filmmaker Mirella “Mica” Martinelli who’ll talk about her new film Frenemies: Cuba and the US EmbargoFrenemies is a feature-length documentary that tells the story of the close yet conflicted relationship between the United States and Cuba from 1940-2020. How much longer can this small Caribbean island survive the longest embargo in history? Can any economy survive such an all-encompassing blockade? Mica will be joined by local activist Johannes Werner, Managing Partner and Editor of the newspaper CubaStandard.com.