From prehistoric sturgeon to chorus frogs, an array of aquatic wildlife calls the Great Lakes region home. These diverse waterways and their critical habitats have been protected by the Clean Water Act for more than four decades.
In December 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to remove the Clean Water Act’s protections for many streams, tributaries and wetlands. Losing these protections could cause wildlife to lose their homes or allow pollution to flow into neighboring waters.
Sign our letter urging Congress to ensure the EPA upholds the current definition of Waters of the United States within the Clean Water Act.
Encourage your friends and family to join you!
Dear EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler:
We are writing to express our strong concerns regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules to amend the existing definition of “waters of the United States” within the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act is an important statute that has shielded habitats, aquatic wildlife, waterways and tributaries from pollution, protections that will now be lost for many wetlands and isolated waterways under the new definition.
We urge the continuation of the current waters of the United States requirement that federal protections extend not only to major water bodies, like rivers and lakes, but also to the streams, ponds, marshes and wetlands that feed into them. These water bodies all offer important benefits including, protection of wildlife, habitat, recreational opportunities, pollution filtering and stormwater management.
The Clean Water Act has drastically protected aquatic wildlife and habitats and reduced water pollution in the United States, including increasing the portion of rivers safe for fishing by 12 percent. Water is a shared, free-flowing resource. The proposed definition will expose acres of wetlands and miles of streams to runoff of pesticides, fertilizer and industrial pollutant, particularly in lightly regulated states. It is critical that the EPA does not reverse federal water protections to ensure a healthy network of aquatic ecosystems.
We ask you to refrain from narrowing the definition of waters of the United States that will put aquatic ecosystems and wildlife at risk. At this moment in history, we should be working to uphold and strengthen the Clean Water Act, not undercut it.
Thank you for your consideration.