Ohioans understand the importance of restoring our Great Lakes and Clean Water Act protections, a new poll released today finds.
Key poll findings:
- 76 percent of voters support federal investment in Great Lakes
- Six in ten want stronger Clean Water Act protections
The survey of 805 general election voters was conducted by Fallon Research & Communications, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, between June 10 and June 13. Questions were written by Belden Russonello Strategists LLC in Washington, D.C. Highlights of the poll include:
1. Over six in ten (62%) voters across Ohio believe the federal Clean Water Act should cover wetlands and small streams in order “to protect our health and important habitats from dangerous pollution,” while fewer than three in ten (29%) take the position that the Clean Water Act should not cover wetlands and small streams because “it will hurt farmers and businesses who will be forced to comply with unnecessary regulations.” There is broad bipartisan support for the Clean Water Act. When presented with arguments on both sides, those who say that the Clean Water Act should cover wetlands and small streams, include majorities of Democrats (77%) and Independents (62%) and a plurality of Republicans (45%).
2. Two thirds (66%) of Ohio voters support the state enacting “stronger regulations to prevent run-off pollution from farms that ends up in the state’s rivers and streams.” Only one-quarter (25%) oppose the state enacting new regulations on farm field run-off. The proportion of voters who strongly support this policy (43%) is nearly three times of those who strongly oppose (15%). Majorities of Republicans (51%), Democrats (75%) and Independents (72%) in support of stronger state regulations for clean water.
3. Looking at regional water issues, a large majority of Ohio voters (76%) supports the federal government spending $300 million a year to restore the health of the Great Lakes. Fewer than one in five (18%) want to reduce the amount the federal government spends on the program that funds cleaning up toxic waste and bacteria, reducing run-off pollution from cities and farms, and protecting and rebuilding wetlands. Support is high among all political groups: 69% of Republicans, 77% of Independents, and 82% of Democrats.
4. Nearly half (46%) of all Ohio voters have heard something about the invasive fish called Asian Carp. After a brief description of the problem of the fish entering the Great Lakes, over nine in 10 voters express concern, with 57% who say they are “very concerned” if the fish got into Lake Erie. Political party once again makes little difference in concern, with 55% of Republicans 64% of Democrats and 50% of Independents saying they would be very concerned if Asian Carp got into Lake Erie.
Support for Clean Water Act protections should be no surprise. Especially for Ohioans as they have an up close and personal reminder of what life was like pre-Clean Water Act. Remember that river in Cleveland that literally caught on fire…a handful of times? Yes, the Cuyahoga River. I have enjoyed plenty of the award wining beer that is named after this!
You can argue that because of the Clean Water Act, rivers and streams adjacent to the Cuyahoga (Grand, Vermillion, and Chagrin) can now support a vibrant steelhead fishery. You don’t call this area of Lake Erie ‘Steelhead Alley’ for nothing!
The Clean Water Act has helped protect the places in Ohio where we hunt, fish and recreate. In addition, the Clean Water Act has ensured the safety of our drinking water for more than 40 years. There’s simply nothing good to be gained by undermining clean water protections that are benefitting people, wildlife and our outdoor heritage.
Combining federal investments in protecting and restoring Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, with keeping Clean Water Act protections in place, are essential for sustaining our economy, and our way of life up here in the Great Lakes.