Protecting Clean Water
Water Act Protections Languish at White House
for One Year
One year ago today, the White House received a final policy that would help protect America’s streams, wetlands, and other critical waters. However, that policy has languished at the White House for a full year awaiting approval. Now more than 20 million acres of wetlands and 2 million miles of streams are at risk of being drained or polluted. The nation’s leading sportsmen groups call for President Obama to take action to conserve these natural resources, which are important to fish and wildlife and crucial to sustaining America’s hunting and angling traditions.
Groups to President
Obama: White House has Failed Its Duty to
Protect Wetlands, by Bob Marshall,
"Field & Stream," March 5,
Sportsmen conservation groups concerned about 20 million acres of the nation’s most important wetlands—and thousands of miles of threatened trout streams—have a message for President Obama: It’s time to walk the talk.
LEAGUE PRESSES WHITE HOUSE TO ISSUE
CLEAN WATER PROTECTIONS
IWLA Executive Director Scott Kovarovics met with senior staff from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and pressed the administration – yet again – to issue policy that begins restoring Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands across the country. Read more...
CLEAN WATER ACT AT 40
2012 marked the 40th anniversary of passage of the Clean Water Act. Forty years ago, as rivers caught fire and waterways large and small were choked with pollution, the American people demanded action to improve and protect their water resources. Congress responded by passing the Clean Water Act. Today, thanks in part to this landmark law, water quality has improved nationwide. While real progress has been made, serious challenges remain. Non-point source pollution – runoff from lawns, farm fields, and parking lots – is widely recognized as the most significant threat to water quality today.
In addition, progress we’ve made in conserving our nation’s waters is threatened because the protections the Clean Water Act provides to streams, wetlands, and other waters have been weakened and undermined. Divided U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 (SWANCC) and 2006 (Rapanos) threaten key tenets of the law, and policies adopted by the Bush administration marginalize longstanding science concerning the connections between waters.
As we celebrate 40 years of progress, we must also remember how much is at risk if Clean Water Act protections are weakened further. Information on this page highlights the problem and the League’s fight to ensure the Clean Water Act protections are restored.
FACTS FOR SPORTSMEN
- "Clean Water Act Guidance: A Balanced Approach to Restoring Clean Water Act Protections" fact sheet (PDF)
- "Hunters and Anglers: Supporting Our Nation's Economy and Conservation" fact sheet (PDF)
- More Than 250 Sportsmen and Conservation Groups Speak Out for Clean Water (comment letter to EPA)
- Sportsmen Support Clean Water Act Guidance (letter to Congress) (PDF)
- National Hunting, Angling Groups Applaud Release of Clean Water Guidance (press release)
At-risk Streams Provide Drinking
Water for 117 Million
Small streams, especially ones that may not flow all year, are especially at risk of losing Clean Water Act protections and becoming vulnerable to increased pollution. However, analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency concludes that these streams flow to public drinking water systems serving more than 117 million Americans. The EPA Web site breaks this information down for every state and many counties nationwide.
- Clean Water at a Crossroads (PDF): The League's Conservation Director, Scott Kovarovics, teamed up with Jan Goldman-Carter from the National Wildlife Federation to write this clear and insightful summary of the threats to America's waters today — and how hunters and anglers can safeguard our waters for future generations.