Tell the EPA! Protect our Water!

Tell the EPA: Don’t Delay to Protect Clean Water!

Show your support for the EPA’s efforts to better manage polluted runoff, a major source of pollution to our rivers and streams across the country! Ask your representatives to tell the EPA not to delay in issuing a rule to update its stormwater programs to better protect clean water.

Show Your Support for Updating Stormwater Programs to Protect Clean Water

A recent report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that approximately 55% of our rivers and streams are in poor biological condition. Polluted runoff is identified as one of the major sources of pollution to our rivers and streams.

What is the EPA Doing?

In 2009, the EPA announced its intention to update and modernize its existing programs to better manage urban runoff and protect clean water.  The Agency is considering requiring that developers use techniques to control runoff before it flows off-site. This simple step may drive the use of green infrastructure practices such as green roofs and rain gardens. Additionally, they are considering requiring existing sources of urban runoff and sources in critical watersheds to reduce their impact.

Unfortunately, the EPA continues to delay in issuing a new rule, so untreated pollution continues to run into our rivers.

What Can You Do to Help?

The EPA needs to act.  We need you to show your support for the EPA’s efforts to strengthen its stormwater programs and better protect our rivers and streams. Send a letter to your Member of Congress expressing concern over EPA’s delays and ask them to put pressure on the EPA to move forward on these critical updates to protect clean water and public health.

Sample Letter

Dear Representative:

As a supporter of Waterkeeper Alliance and clean water, I am writing to express my concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s delay in proposing a national rule to update its stormwater programs to better protect clean water. This marks the sixth time that the Agency has passed a deadline to propose critical updates to our nation’s stormwater runoff programs.

Polluted runoff is one of the major sources of pollution to our rivers, streams, lakes, and bays. When rainwater hits hard surfaces such as roads and rooftops, it can’t soak into the ground. Instead, it flows along the surface and picks up pollutants like heavy metals and chemicals before eventually flowing into local waters. As our communities continue to grow, our ability to manage the resulting polluted runoff has not kept pace.

We can do better. Updating federal standards to capture and treat rainwater where it falls will keep pollution out of lakes, rivers, and streams and reduce localized flooding in a proven, cost-effective way. The EPA has the opportunity to protect clean water across the country from the Chesapeake Bay to the Puget Sound by updating its programs to capture and filter rainfall, minimize pollution from new or redevelopment, and address runoff from existing sources.

I’m very concerned about the problem of polluted runoff and its impact on clean water and the health and safety of my community. A fair and effective nationwide rule will help mitigate the economic, health, and environmental costs imposed on taxpayers and businesses by unregulated runoff. In fact, FEMA estimates that up to 25 percent of economic losses occur as a result of flooding exacerbated by urban runoff. 

Please urge the EPA to move forward on these critical updates to protect clean water.

Fall on the Kaw

Sharing the beautiful fall colors on the Kaw!
 Fall Photo Rich

This picture was taken by FOK member, Rich Ambler on a float between Eudora and De Soto on November 2, 2013.  Fall is a wonderful time to float the Kaw and witness the vivid colors of the leaves!

Friends of the Kaw would also like to thank all those that have attended and supported our fall fundraising events:

The Catfish Fry at Abe and Jakes on Friday, September 27 with a special thank you to Mike Logan, manager of Abe and Jakes, for organizing and promoting the event.  Also a big thank you to the corporate sponsors:  Bowersock Hydopower, Cromwell Solar, Westar Energy and O’Malley Beverage.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Friday, October
12 at Liberty Hall with a special thank you to Mike Rawitch for organizing and promoting the event.
Thanks also to our sponsors: Stroke Technique for the Triathlete, Westar Energy – Green Team, Lawrence Hits Com, Kansas Sierra Club, Kansas Wildlife Federation, Ozark Wilderness Waterways Club, Kansas Canoe & Kayak Association, Coeman – the Outdoor Company and the Kansas City Paddler.

FOK’s Annual Dinner and Silent Auction on Tuesday, November 5 at Tortas Jalisco’s Restaurant in Lawrence.  A great taco buffett was enjoyed by all and we appreciate every one that donated auction items and also those that purchased the items.  Kristen Riott of Bridging the Gap gave a very interesting program on the state of water!


Annual Dinner & Silent Auction

Tuesday, November 5th beginning at 6:00 PM at Tortas Jalisco’s in Lawrence

Once a year Friends of the Kaw hosts a dinner meeting with a keynote speaker. This year’s event will take place on Tuesday, November 5th in Lawrence. While our board meets bi-monthly, most of our member activities focus around Kaw River float trips with an occasional clean-up. Our annual dinner is a great opportunity for our members to meet each other, learn more about a river related topic and do some holiday shopping at our silent auction.
annual dinner
This year’s dinner at Tortas Jalisco Restaraunt is being prepared by Angel Alvarez, owner of Tortas Jalisco’s and winner of the Riverkeeper Award at the last River City Cookoff, and will include a delicious endless taco bar. In addition to great food we will also host our silent auction, and a keynote speaker. The auction will be filled with a number of great items that are perfect gifts for this holiday season. Our keynote speaker ill be Kristin Riott, Executive Director of the Kansas City nonprofit Bridging the Gap. She will present an overview of fresh water globally, nationally, and locally.The cost is $35 per person, and includes dinner, drink, and dessert. RSVP’s need to be made by November 1st by calling Laura Calwell at (785)312-7200, or by making a donation via our website. For more information please visit

EVERYTHING Recycling Event

Saturday, October 26th, from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
6800 W 95th Street, Overland Park

Do you have excess stuff? Get rid of it in a responsible manner at this recycling extravaganza!This Saturday in Overland Park Everything except household hazardous waste will be recyclable. This includes: paper shredding(small fee), electronics(small fee for TVs and monitors), clothing, household goods, gently used shoes, fabric, bicycles, usable construction materials, cell phones, medications, and more!
For more information please visit the Overland Park Government website. Also, please note that National Prescription Drug Take-back Day is also on the 26th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and there will be LOTS of locations to safely dispose of your unused prescription drugs.  To learn more about how improper medication disposal is destructive watch this awesome video. To find locations, and for more information about drug take back day click here.