[audubon-news] AUDUBON SUPPORTS LEGISLATION TO PROTECT WETLANDS

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: #Audubon Board of Directors <IMCEAEX-_O=AUDUBON_OU=NATIONAL_CN=RECIPIENTS_CN=BoardOfDirectors@xxxxxxxxxxx>,#Audubon Staff <audstaff@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 26 Jul 2002 11:57:21 -0400

` <<...OLE_Obj...>>   N E W S   R E L E A S E 
                                Contact: Cristine Romano
                                202 /861-2242
                                cromano@xxxxxxxxxxx

AUDUBON SUPPORTS LEGISLATION TO PROTECT WETLANDS 


Washington, D.C., July 24, 2002 - Audubon today hailed proposed legislation
that would restore federal protection for millions of acres of wetlands that
provide crucial habitat for birds and other wildlife.

The Clean Water Authority Restoration Act of 2002 seeks to remedy a Supreme
Court decision last year that removed federal protection for "isolated"
wetlands across the United States.  That decision said federal officials
could not rely on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act -- or the presence of
migrating birds -- as the sole factor when acting to protect wetlands that
are separated from navigable waterways or other wetlands. 

"These wetlands are not isolated from wildlife, they are a haven for birds,
and the Supreme Court decision seriously undercuts their protections," said
Bob Perciasepe, Audubon's Senior VP for Public Policy.  "Millions of birds
depend on isolated wetlands for their survival."  

More than half of the duck population produced each year in North America
comes from breeding in isolated wetlands known as "prairie potholes," for
example.  Prairie potholes provide vital habitat for hundreds of thousands
of migratory shorebirds and endangered species including piping plovers and
bald eagles. These wetlands are in danger of disappearing as more land is
used for agriculture and development. 

Other types of isolated wetlands, such as bogs and playas, provide crucial
habitat for shore birds, raptors, cranes and other migratory birds. Isolated
wetlands, which are connected hydrologically to navigable waters, also
filter pollutants from surface run-off, removing pollutants before the water
is taken up by animals, birds and plants. 

The legislation was introduced today in the Senate by Sen. Russ Feingold
(D-Wis.) and in the House by Reps. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) and John Dingell
(D-Mich.). 

Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat
that supports them.  Our growing network of community-based Audubon Centers,
grass roots science programs for bird enthusiasts, and advocacy on behalf of
eco-systems sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people
of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.

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