RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)—October 18 will mark 50 years since the Clean Water Act of 1972 was passed by Congress.

This act paved the way for protecting and restoring waterways in the U.S. that so many communities depend on.

According to a release from the White House, before this act was passed “America’s waters were in crisis, often flooded and even on fire.”

One such time was when the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught fire in 1969, and that year was not the first time it happened.

The Clean Water Act set and helped to enforce “national water quality standards, restricting pollution, and investing in wastewater treatment and better wetlands management,” according to officials.

Officials highlighted this act’s importance and how it has aided in making the nation’s waters cleaner.

U.S. President Joe Biden marked the 50th anniversary and said that work still remains to provide access to clean water and that the “Clean Water Act is a powerful reminder of Americans’ ability to make change for the better when we work together.”

While proclaiming Tuesday as the 50th Anniversary for the Clean Water Act, Biden called on Americans to “recognize the significant contribution the Clean Water Act” and to continue to protect “our shared water resources.”