More than half of North Amerihave the right to migratory waterfowl favor mallards depend on wetlands that would be endangered by the Trump Administration"s assault on clean water. Picture from Alan D. Wilson

President Trump has actually sassist that he desires the nation to have “crystal clear water,” and it would certainly be difficult to uncover anyone who would certainly disagree through that.

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However, last week, the Administration released an executive order that would certainly take the nation in the oppowebsite direction — rolling ago a dominion aimed at bettering the drinking water provides of around one in 3 Americans.

The order goes beyond simply rolling back the Clean Water Rule, but. What’s really inexplicable around this order is that it directs the Environmental Protection Agency to consider Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v United States, a 2006 Supreme Court case, as soon as recomposing a ascendancy that specifies which waters are defended by the Clean Water Act. The majority of the Supreme Court rejected this approach as inregular via the Clean Water Act. Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, sassist in a statement:

This is a strategy that the Supreme Court has previously rejected, especially bereason it is not based upon sound scientific research, is incontinuous with letter and also heart of the Clean Water Act as passed by Congress, and does not follow existing instance law. It will certainly be struck down by the Court eventually, however in the meantime our waters will certainly have actually fewer protections. America can perform better and also we urge the management to satisfy its promise of ‘crystal clear water.’

Please let President Trump understand that you want him to defend clean water and also wildlife by retweeting and liking the complying with tweet:

#America have the right to carry out better!
POTUS accomplish your promise of ‘crystal clear water', don't roll earlier the #CleanWaterRule.

— Wildlife Action (
wildlifeaction) March 7, 2017

The splintered 2006 decision created confusion over how to recognize whether the Clean Water Act uses to America’s smaller sized streams and also wetlands – waters that carry out necessary fish and also wildlife habitat and fuel our nation’s drinking water supply. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion — establishing out a “significant nexus” test — has been thought about the guiding traditional to recognize whether a water can be safeguarded under the Clean Water Act. Kennedy’s test claims that wetlands must have a “substantial nexus” to a navigable water, meaning the wetland also need to have actually an identifiable physical, organic, or chemical connection to a waterbody you have the right to float a watercraft on.

The Clean Water Rule was composed to pass Kennedy’s test. The preeminence restores protections for 60% of our nation’s stream miles and also numerous acres of wetlands. The lengthy rulemaking process was guided by the finest available science and comprehensive stakeholder input, garnering about one million public comments. Of these one million comments, 87% were supportive of the ascendancy.

By calling for a re-compose of the Clean Water Rule, President Trump’s executive order therefore threatens Clean Water Act protections for these waters.


Prairie pothole wetlands in the US provide habitat for 40 species of reproduction waterbirds, consisting of Amerideserve to white pelicans and herons. Photograph by Marcia Owens.

All water flows downstream and also you cannot attain the fundamental goal of the Clean Water Act without protecting upstream waters and also stopping contamination at its source. Few would argue that Clean Water Act protections must not apply to the Coloraperform River, Chesapeake Bay, and the Great Lakes, however all these excellent waters start as, and are fed by, headwater streams and springs upstream. The health and wellness of these tiny streams straight affects the water high quality of our nation’s iconic waterbodies downstream.

Writing a new dominance based on Scalia’s opinion would remove clean water protections for 60% of the nation’s stream miles and even more than 20 million acres of wetlands nationwide. The 64 million acres of prairie pothole wetlands – shpermit depressions filled with snowmelt and also water in the spring – would certainly additionally reprimary undefended. These seasonal wetlands are house to even more than half of North American migratory waterfowl including mallards, gadwall, and also redhead ducks.


The 64 million acres of the prairie potholes that stretch across 5 Midwestern states have 18 species of waterfowl, 96 species of songbirds, 36 species of waterbirds, 17 species of raptors and also 5 species of upland game birds. USFWS photo.

The science does not support rolling earlier these Clean Water Act protections. This executive order is an effort to readjust the inclusive legal standard determining what waters have the right to be defended from air pollution, and instead adopt a brand-new traditional that doesn’t actually think about the scientific research – a relocate that was rejected by the two previous administrations.

Science tells us is that headwater streams, tributaries, and adjacent waters have a far-ranging affect on downstream water quality. In order to fulfill President Trump’s project promise of “crystal clear water,” his administration will have to defend every one of America’s waters, not simply some of them.

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Eextremely Amerihave the right to deserves access to safe and clean, fishable, and also swimmable water. An order that is neither guided by scientific research nor likely to organize up in court is at odds via this promise. Instead, it leaves much of our nation’s drinking water and also fish and also wildlife habitat vulnerable to pollution, threatening public health and wellness, wildlife habitat, and America’s outdoor heritage.

Since the order directs the EPA to begin a new rulemaking process, the public will certainly have lots of avenues to comment on a brand-new dominion. Stay tuned for your possibility to talk around why clean water is so necessary to wildlife and also to you. Sign up right here to join the fight for wildlife and get updays on actions you can take!

Conservation | action center, Clean Water Act, clean water rule, Congress, Environmental Protection Agency, prairie potholes, Supreme Court, wetlands, wildlife