Issues: Wetlands

Challenge:

Did you know that nine out of every 10 fish caught by American recreational anglers are dependent on wetlands at some stage of their life cycles? Did you know that every species of duck, goose and swan in North America depends on wetland habitat throughout their life cycle, with as many as 70 percent of all North American ducks originating from the Prairie Pothole Region alone? Wetlands are an indispensable part of our sporting traditions, yet America loses an average of 13,800 acres of wetlands each year to draining and development projects. This trend will continue and possibly accelerate due to weakened federal protections for wetlands under the Clean Water Act.

Strategy:

The TRCP and a coalition of sportsman organizations on our Wetlands and Clean Water Working Group are organizing an education campaign to generate support for restoring protections that have been lost for our nation’s wetlands, streams, lakes and headwaters. While legislative action is required to permanently fix this problem, we also support meaningful administrative actions that can clarify exactly what waters are protected by the Clean Water Act.

Action:

The TRCP supports clean water and science-based efforts to safeguard America’s waters  in a way that protects the interests of farmers and landowners. The TRCP has developed a Sportsman's Tackle Box to explain this issue, which includes ways sportsmen can get involved.

In 2013 and subsequent years, the TRCP will pursue clean water for hunting and fishing by advocating for strong administrative actions related to the Clean Water Act. Specifically, the administration needs to finalize a scientific report describing the important role wetlands and headwater streams play in the quality of our nation’s rivers, lakes and estuaries. Informed by the scientific report, the administration must also finalize a formal rulemaking process as soon as possible that will restore Clean Water Act protections to waters important to America’s sportsmen and women.

The TRCP will be engaging sportsmen from all across the country to support this important effort and weigh in with substantive comments during the administrative rulemaking process.

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Sportsmen are keenly aware of the value of clean rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands and the crucial habitat they provide for our favorite critters.  It is imperative that we restore the protections for these waters that have been lost in recent years.

Geoff Mullins

Chief Operating and Communications Officer