Press Release

NDAA Will Protect Clean Drinking Water For Millions

The Wilderness Society celebrates Chattahoochee River Act heading to Biden’s Desk

WASHINGTON, DC - Last night, the National Defense Authorization Act passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support (83-11), paving the way for the President’s signature. Of the many provisions included in the text of the $847 billion bill is the Water Resources and Development Act, which would codify protections originally included in the Chattahoochee River Act. 

The Chattahoochee River Act, introduced by Sen. Jon Ossoff and Sen. Raphael Warnock, will help improve water quality, protect essential public works, and restore ecosystems along the Chattahoochee River — which is a vital source of clean drinking water and energy for Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The Chattahoochee’s watershed provides more than 70% of metro Atlanta’s drinking water. Additionally, The Chattahoochee’s headwaters are home to more than 500 different bird, mammal, fish, and reptile species with an estimated 1,000 miles of cold-water trout streams throughout. 

The following statement can be attributed to Jill Gottesman, Southern Appalachian Landscape Director at The Wilderness Society: 

“We are so pleased that the NDAA included the Water Resources and Development Act so that millions of people will continue to have access to clean water. Healthy watersheds are a cornerstone of an ecosystem that works for public health and wildlife alike. In addition to being vital for all as we face the harsh realities of the climate crisis, clean and safe drinking water is a right that so many communities are vulnerable to lose. We must do everything we can to preserve it. The Chattahoochee’s headwaters are incredibly pristine, thanks in part to efforts of groups like Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and Georgia ForestWatch, and we are thrilled to see the protection and restoration of the river downstream supported with new resources.”

For media inquiries, please contact Jen Parravani at or (202) 601-1931