Hunters and anglers across the country strongly support applying the rules and standards of the Clean Water Act to smaller streams and wetlands, a bipartisan survey of 1,000 registered voters has found.
These protections were the law of the land for decades until two Supreme Court decisions left this part of the Clean Water Act in limbo. The streams at risk provide drinking water for a third of all Americans and are vital for fish and wildlife.
In May 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers—after hearing from one million members of the public and more than 200 sportsmen’s conservation organizations— finalized a rule restoring Clean Water Act protections to more than half of the nation’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands.
This is a win for wildlife and the hunters, anglers, and outdoor lovers of today and generations to come. Here’s what America’s hunters and anglers had to say about the need for these protections:
“Our waters lead into one another. If one is bad, both are.” —Republican Woman, Hunter & Angler, Wisconsin
“All natural water should be treated equally” —Angler Woman, Colorado
“These bodies of water are intimately connected, so are we to ignore them due to some technicality or red tape associated with language of a bill from forty years ago? The intention was then and should now be considered the same no matter the bill's wording, making this issue a non‐issue.” —Democratic Man Angler from Washington
And the results of the poll show this support clearly:
After hearing the following neutral description of the rule: “Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that smaller streams and wetlands that flow into larger rivers, lakes and eventually the ocean are protected under the Clean Water Act—a point that had been unclear after a number of recent court decisions. Do you support or oppose applying the same rules and standards from the Clean Water Act to these smaller, headwater streams and wetlands?” 83 percent of hunters and anglers supported it.
Sportsmen and women understand that clean water and a good economy go hand in hand. The poll also found that 82 percent of sportsmen and women believe we CAN protect our water quality and have a strong economy with good jobs for Americans at the same time, without having to choose one over the other.
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