Illustrated landscape of Lake Champlain with text overlay that says The Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was the nation’s first comprehensive legislation on water quality. It protected and improved the quality of the waters of the United States, including Lake Champlain.

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Clean Water Act. As we reflect on how our country achieved this legislation, we also ask: How did it and does it still impact Lake Champlain and our community? How do we understand this complex legislation in the context of our local waterways and how can we continue to protect our lake?

The Clean Water Act is not just about water, it’s a story of people. Life in the Champlain Valley has always been deeply connected to the waters of Lake Champlain. Looking at the Clean Water Act’s impact on our lake 50 years on, we can see how people have always made the lake a home, how our industries and actions have an impact on the water, and how people at all levels came together to fight for clean water … and how we continue that work today!

Dive into the Clean Water Act at 50 years through this digital exhibit. Use the Exhibit Navigation section at the bottom of each exhibit page to explore through different parts of this exhibit.

This exhibit is made possible with generous support from