Sportsmen Criticize Senate Measure Weakening Clean Water Act

11-15-2011 //

This excerpt is from

As the U.S. Senate debates the budget for the Army Corps of Engineers this week, prominent sportsman-conservation groups roundly criticized an amendment that would defund the administration’s work on Clean Water Act guidance that is crucial to sustaining wetlands and waterways.

Ducks Unlimited, the Izaak Walton League of America, the National Wildlife Federation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited strongly oppose the so-called Barrasso-Heller amendment, which would block the Army Corps of Engineers from taking agency action toward restoring Clean Water Act protections to streams, wetlands and other waters.

“The language in the Barrasso-Heller amendment will fundamentally diminish America’s clean water legacy,” said Jan Goldman-Carter, wetlands and water resources counsel for the National Wildlife Federation. “American sportsmen unite in urging the Senate to reject this and any measure that would block agency action to secure our clean water and wetlands ecosystems.”

Over the past decade, safeguards for headwater streams and critical wetlands have steadily eroded, impacting the ability of these ecosystems to recharge aquifers, retain floodwaters, sustain important fish and wildlife habitat and provide clean water for iconic systems such as the Chesapeake Bay, Great Lakes and Puget Sound. As these waters are polluted and diminished, their tremendous ecological and public health benefits likewise are lost.

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