Issues: Wetlands

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

Clean, productive wetlands and headwater streams are important for everyone, and they are essential for hunters and anglers. In addition to reducing flooding, filtering pollution, and recharging aquifers, they provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife.

Sadly, more than half of the nation’s streams and rivers remain impaired by pollution and habitat loss. And our nation has been losing wetlands at an alarming rate. The most recent national assessment of wetland trends documented a 140 percent increase in the rate of wetland loss between 2004 and 2009. This was the first documented acceleration of wetland loss since the Clean Water Act was enacted more than 40 years ago.

The Clean Water Act, which established a goal of no net loss of wetland acres, 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, beginning in 2001, a series of Supreme Court decisions and administrative actions hindered implementation of the Clean Water Act, leaving many of our most important wetlands and streams vulnerable to destruction and pollution.

To restore some of the lost protections to waters that are most important to sportsmen, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule on March 25, 2014, that will clearly define which streams and wetlands are protected by the Clean Water Act. Once again, sportsmen are on the front lines of protecting our natural resources. With your support, we can ensure this process comes to a successful conclusion.

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

Take action and help restore our nation's clean water and wetlands!

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


Hunting and Angling: Fueling Our Nation’s Economy and Paying for Conservation

Hunting and fishing are not simply traditions or hobbies – they are fundamental components of our nation’s economy. Read more.


Fact sheet: A Simple Guide to Clean Water Act Guidance

Find out more about lost protections for our wetlands and waters and the need for new Clean Water Act guidance. Read more.


The Clean Water Rule: Protecting America’s Waters

Learn more about the proposed landmark rule clarifying longstanding Clean Water Act protections for many U.S. waters. Read more.

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Faces of the TRCP

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