What is a wadable stream, you might ask. Curiously enough, it is a stream that a human can wade through. OK. Sarcasm aside, the health of the nation's "wadable streams" is critical to the health of its the water supply. Without clean water, we can't sustain our ecosystem, raise healthy kids, and so on.
The Bush administration has unveiled its "just-completed, nationwide" survey of the water supply that feeds into America's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. If you wade into the Environmental Protection Agency's website (www.epa.gov), you'll find a PowerPoint presentation that seems to say (without coming out and saying it) the state of the nation's wadable streams isn't all that good. Only 21 percent of the nation's wadable streams boast "good fishy biotic integrity" (whatever that means), while 42 percent of streams' integrity is "marginal" and 31 percent is poor. I'm no math wiz, but those seem like
terrible odds. Let me stipulate for the record, the conservative Bush administration is no friend of the environmental movement. We know that. Still, the Natural Resource Defense Council has apparently become so fed up with the president's actions, that it stopped compiling a very unfriendly compilation of the president's environmental record (www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/nttw.asp). From the president's first term through 2005, the group "compiled a comprehensive account of his administration's actions on environmental matters." Guess the enviros got too depressed to continue. But the website goes on, "As for the Bush administration, it has shown again and again that it will cater to industries that put America's health and natural heritage at risk; there is little doubt that more attempts to undermine environmental enforcement and weaken key programs will be made. NRDC will continue to vigilantly defend the environment."
You go, guys! As for me, I take no position. I report, you decide.