Clean Water Rule Passes Intense Scientific Review


Izaak Walton League Calls for EPA To Finalize Rule

Wetland Ducks photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceGaithersburg, MD – A science report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirms that streams, wetlands, and other open waters can affect water quality downstream. The Izaak Walton League applauds EPA’s extensive scientific review of water connections and calls on the agency to quickly finalize a pending rule that will restore Clean Water Act protections to streams, wetlands, and other at-risk waters.

EPA evaluated more than 1,200 peer-reviewed, published studies on the effects that streams, non-tidal wetlands, and open-waters have on larger downstream waters, including rivers, lakes, estuaries, and oceans. The report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters, found that regardless of size or frequency of flow, streams are connected to downstream waters in ways that strongly influence their health. According to EPA, approximately 60 percent of stream miles in the United States only flow seasonally or after rain, but they have a considerable impact on water quality downstream. In addition, the report confirmed that the incremental contributions of individual streams and wetlands are cumulative across entire watersheds.

“EPA’s report confirms the sound science behind the proposed rule to restore Clean Water Act protections for streams, wetlands, and other waters,” said Scott Kovarovics, Izaak Walton League Executive Director. “The Clean Water Rule will better protect streams that provide drinking water to 117 million Americans and help conserve wetlands that are vital to a vibrant outdoor recreation economy.”

Approximately 117 million people – that’s one in three Americans – get their drinking water from public systems fed by streams that are currently at risk. These streams and at-risk wetlands also support healthy fish and wildlife populations as well as fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation.

“American who hunt, fish, boat, and enjoy the outdoors deeply understand the importance of clean water and healthy habitat,” said Kovarovics. “Now it’s time to put essential protections back in place.” Learn more about the clean water rule


Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America ( protects America's outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.

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  • Clean Water Act