In New York City, clean water is the most vital resource we have. We are known to have some the cleanest drinking water in the country for a reason; we value and preserve our waterways. We rely on lakes, rivers and streams for our quality of life, our economy and our health.

Fortunately, on Aug. 28, our nation made a major step to protect our waterways. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency enacted the Clean Water Rule, which protects 28,785 miles of streams across New York and over 2 million across the country.

This rule closed major loopholes in the Clean Water Act that had left 55 percent of New York’s streams vulnerable to pollution. The loopholes were created by polluter-driven lawsuits nearly a decade ago and allowed developers to build over our wetlands and industrial plants to dump into our streams. Federal law could do nothing to stop them.

The newly enacted Clean Water Rule gives the EPA the ability to stop this excessive pollution. A broad coalition of clean water advocates, farmers, mayors, small businesses and tens of thousands of New Yorkers have come together to support the rule, and now, with the rule in effect since Aug. 28, half of our waterways are again protected.

But, agribusinesses, oil and gas companies and other polluters affected by the rule have waged a bitter campaign against it, and their allies in Congress are continuing their fight to overthrow this new regulation. The U.S. House voted in May to block the rule and the full Senate could take up a similar measure this fall.

In the face of all the opposition from polluters, it is critical that all New Yorkers who value clean water make their voices heard. This fall, we will need Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand to continue their strong environmental leadership, so that all of New York’s lakes and streams remain protected by the Clean Water Act.

We all depend on clean water, so we must do everything we can to protect it for our health and for the benefit of generations to come. Please join us in urging our United States senators to support the Clean Water Rule to make that happen.

Donovan Richards is New York City Councilman for the 31st District, in Southeast Queens, and Chairman of the Environmental Protection Committee. Anubhuti Kumar is Clean Water Campaign Organizer for Environment New York.