NWF Applauds Administration Clarification of Protections for Wetlands and Streams

The National Wildlife Federation applauds the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of a draft report, titled, The Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.

This scientific report will inform the Administration’s draft rule clarifying which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. The Administration also announced today that it has sent this draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The report is based on peer-reviewed literature and was given an additional review by independent scientists.

Jan Goldman-Carter, Wetlands & Water Resources Counsel for the National Wildlife Federation had this to say about the release of the report:

“More than half of America’s rivers and streams are in poor condition, we have drained or destroyed half of the wetlands in the lower 48 states, and wetland loss continues at an alarming rate. This new report demonstrates how streams and wetlands influence lakes, rivers, and bays downstream. It gives us a strong scientific basis to answer the critical question of which bodies of water need to be protected to maintain and restore the nation’s waters.

“Wetlands and small streams are critical habitat for fish and wildlife but they will remain at risk until the new “waters of the U.S.” rulemaking is complete. The White House must move quickly to protect the many wetlands, lakes, and tributary streams that influence the health of our nation’s rivers and our drinking water supplies.”