For years, national parks across the country have phased out the sale of bottled water and installed hydration stations. But we just learned that the National Park Service policy outlining how national parks can go bottled water free has been rescinded.
It happened just weeks after Trump appointed a deputy secretary of the Interior with deep ties to Nestlé, a water-bottling giant that has pushed to stop parks from going bottled water free for years through its trade association. This is just one more extreme example of corporations wielding their power to protect profits at the expense of people and the planet.
But this must not be the end of the line for parks eliminating bottled water and increasing access to the tap: call on national park superintendents across the country to resist the bottled water industry and the Trump administration’s corporate agenda, and continue to make their parks bottled-water-free.
These are our parks, and we can and should make it clear that water, like our national parks, is a public good, not a commodity.
Over the last several years, you have built the movement for bottled-water-free parks, and your actions have helped block the bottled water industry’s aggressive attempts to interfere in Congress and roll back this policy.
So when Trump installed a new deputy secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, who came straight from a law firm that represented Nestlé in lawsuits related to its abusive bottling practices, the industry pounced. This was the first year the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) directly lobbied the Department of the Interior, which oversees the National Park Service.
Corporations like Nestlé and industry trade groups shouldn’t control decisions about what’s best for our national parks, and we aren’t going to let them have the final say. Write to the superintendents of our national parks and tell them to keep pushing to go bottled water free.
We know that many of our parks want to do away with bottled water. Let’s make sure they know that we support them in that move, even if the current administration doesn’t.