Issues: Wetlands

A Sportsman's Tackle Box for Understanding the Clean Water Rule

Clean, productive wetlands and headwater streams are important for everyone, and they are essential for hunters and anglers. While they provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife, these waters and wetlands also reduce flooding, filter pollution, and recharge aquifers.

The Clean Water Act, with its goal “to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters,” is our most powerful tool for protecting wetlands and safeguarding water quality. It was adopted at the behest of hunters, anglers, and conservationists to ensure the nation’s supply of healthy water. However, since 2001, a series of Supreme Court decisions and administrative actions have hindered implementation of the Clean Water Act, leaving half of the nation’s stream miles at risk of pollution and destruction. In the past 15 years, we’ve lost wetlands at an alarming rate. The most recent national assessment of wetland trends documented a 140 percent increase in the rate of wetland loss—the first acceleration of wetland loss since the Clean Water Act was enacted more than 40 years ago.

After years of effort from sportsmen calling for administrative action to fix this problem, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule on May 27, 2015, that clearly defines which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. Once again, hunters and anglers are on the front lines of protecting our natural resources. With your support, we can ensure this victory survives repeated Congressional attacks.

Please take the time to review some of the materials below to learn more about this important issue. Then consider taking action to let Congress know you support clean water.

Help restore our nation's wetlands and headwater streams!

For more information, contact TRCP Center for Water Resources Director Jimmy Hague at


Fact Sheets

The Clean Water Rule: Fueling the Hunting & Fishing Industry

Without clean water protections, sportsmen's access to quality days in the field is at risk -- and so are the jobs and economic activity sportsmen create. Read more.


What Sportsmen are Saying about the Clean Water Rule

In newspapers, magazines, blogs, and letters to Washington, the sportsmen community is celebrating this victory for fish and wildlife habitat and anyone who appreciates clean drinking water. Read more.


The Clean Water Rule: Protecting America’s Waters

Learn how the landmark rule restores and clarifies longstanding Clean Water Act protections for wetlands and headwater streams. Read more.


S.1140 -- Senate Legislation Undermines Protections for Fish, Wildlife, and Drinking Water

Legislation advancing in the Senate would undo sportsmen's historic victory with the clean water rule and fundamentally alter the Clean Water Act. Read more.


H.R.1732 -- House Legislation Steals Clean Water Victory from Sportsmen

The legislation approved by the House of Representatives would kill the final clean water rule putting wetlands and headwater streams back at risk. Read more.



Hunters and Anglers Need a Restored Clean Water Act - Sportsmen must speak up for strong, science-based protections for waters upon which America’s hunters and anglers rely.

Stemming the Tide of Wetlands Loss - Our friend Steven Rinella, host of MeatEater on the Sportsman Channel, walks you through the importance of wetlands to sportsmen.

Sportsmen and Wetlands Loss - Steven is back with a second look at the important connection between sportsmen and wetlands.

EPA Goes to the Bassmaster Classic - EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaks to the 2014 B.A.S.S Conservation Summit.



Grassroots Perspectives: What Sportsmen are Saying About the Clean Water Rule

This is how far out of touch Congress is with sportsmen

A New Affront to Clean Water Protections Brewing in the House

On its 42nd anniversary, the Clean Water Act has an identity crisis

House votes against sportsmen and clean water

Congress Is Ignoring You

TAKE ACTION! – Promoting liberty through conservation

Sportsmen (and Beer Makers) Everywhere Rally in Support of Clean Water

Useful Links

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Press Releases


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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