It seems like oceans are getting most of the publicity these days when we talk about the problems of plastic and other pollutants. Our colleagues at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), however, are working hard on solutions for freshwater pollution as well.

In their recent post on Medium, Dave Tickner, Chief Freshwater Advisor for WWF-UK, and Dean Muruven, Global Policy Manager for the WWF Freshwater Practice, review the gains, the set-backs and the not-too-distant opportunities for making progress. In their excellent call to action, “It’s Our Planet too – emergency action plan for the world’s freshwater species,” Tickner and Muruven point to next year, when a global environmental agreement – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – will be refreshed. “Key inter-governmental meetings will review countries’ progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement,” they said. “It is an unprecedented opportunity to secure a New Deal for Nature and People — and this could be a new deal that includes a freshwater focus.”

Thriving freshwater species indicate healthy rivers and wetlands, they remind us, “which are crucial to anyone who drinks water or eats food.” That would be all of us.