The Clean Water Network:Working to Protect Rivers, Lakes,Wetlands and Coastal Waters

The Clean Water Network:Working to Protect Rivers, Lakes,Wetlands and Coastal Waters

By:Merritt Frey

The Clean Water Network has been part of our Advisory Panel since the early days of GLAHNF. However, late last year GLAHNF welcomed a new Clean Water Network staff member to our Advisory Panel – Merritt Frey. Originally from Michigan, Merritt is thrilled to re-establish her connection to the Great Lakes.

The Clean Water Network is an alliance of more than 1,000 organizations working together to protect, strengthen, and enforce the Clean Water Act – the nation’s main law protecting our rivers, lakes,wetlands, and coastal waters. Network members include a variety of organizations representing environmentalists, commercial fishermen, anglers, surfers, farmers, faith communities, environmental justice advocates, labor unions, urban communities, consumers, recreationalists, and others. The Network strives to connect grassroots groups to clean water policy debates in Washington, DC. Network staff also support grassroots members’ work to strengthen Clean Water Act implementation in their state or watershed.

Merritt has worked for the Network for nearly seven years – five of those years in Washington, D.C. as a policy analyst and organizer and the last two in Idaho. Merritt is currently the watershed restoration program director, which allows her to focus on Total Maximum Daily Load watershed cleanup plans, water quality standards, and drinking water source water protection. Merritt coordinates discussion about these topics, creates tools and trainings to help Network members use the Clean Water Act to protect their watersheds, and produces media materials to help educate the public and decision makers about the Act’s programs.

“I have the best job in the Network! I work directly with our members to find or create the tools and resources they need to restore their watersheds. And I learn so much from our members that can be brought back to Washington, D.C. to ground federal policy in the reality of watershed needs,” Merritt said.

Merritt is excited to be asked to participate on GLAHNF’s Advisory Panel. With years of experience in crafting and implementing national grassroots campaigns, she hopes to contribute ideas and support to help with region-wide campaigns and grassroots support activities in the Great Lakes Basin.

“I’m so happy to have found a way to work in the Great Lakes region again,” Merritt said. “Michigan is still home to me and I think of the Great Lakes as the reason I do the work I do. I am really pleased to have joined GLAHNF’s efforts to protect and restore such a significant ecosystem.”

You can reach Merritt at 208-345-7776 or for help with GLAHNF grant applications or questions about using Clean Water Act tools in your watershed. You can explore Clean Water Network’s resources, news updates, and membership activities by visiting


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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.