Issues: Wetlands

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

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


Fact Sheets

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.


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.



Myths and Facts: How the Proposed Rule Impacts Agriculture

Learn the truth about the rule’s impact on agriculture with this fact sheet prepared by the National Farmers Union rebutting some of the most common misconceptions about the rule. 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.


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

Sportsmen Tell Scientists: We Need More Clarity to Restore Water Protections

Useful Links

Related Content


Take Action

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