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All These NV Moms Want for Mother’s Day is a Cleaner Environment

More than 44,000 children in Nevada have asthma. Moms Clean Air Force and other groups want the state to do more to clean the air and protect the environment. (Bree Johnson/Twenty20)
More than 44,000 children in Nevada have asthma. Moms Clean Air Force and other groups want the state to do more to clean the air and protect the environment. (Bree Johnson/Twenty20)
May 11, 2018

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Mother's Day is coming up this weekend, and many Nevada moms are coming together to ask for a healthier future for their children.

At the "Mama Summit" events this Saturday in Reno and Las Vegas, mothers and families will ask local governments to adopt more environmental protections for the state. The National Wildlife Federation and Moms Clean Air Force say they're concerned about federal rollbacks of clean air and water regulations under current leadership at the EPA.

That's why Rebekah Stetson, Nevada grassroots climate outreach consultant with the National Wildlife Federation says locally focused, grassroots efforts have the best chance of making an impact.

"We have a capacity to make a lot of change,” says Stetson. “It's really powerful when our state leaders or federal leaders see mothers standing up and saying, 'I need more protection for my children. My children deserve clean air; my children deserve clean water.'"

The groups are asking for local policies for clean energy, pollution reduction, and preparedness for extreme weather conditions. Climate Central reports Reno is the fastest-warming city in the nation, and Las Vegas the third-fastest. Both areas receive failing grades from the American Lung Association for ozone pollution.

Jennifer Cantley, an organizer with Moms Clean Air Force, says she wants politicians to understand that climate change isn't a far-off future threat. In Nevada, she says changes like a lengthening wildfire season are already making an impact.

"My son having asthma, when those fires are going on, it makes it really hard for me to sleep at night and know if he's breathing,” says Cantley, “because he'll wake up gasping for breath, and I can't always hear it if he's in the other room. So that's what, for me, climate change is doing for my family."

The mayors of Reno and Carson City, along with other state and local politicians, are expected to attend Mama Summit events.

Katherine Davis-Young, Public News Service - NV