[audubon-news] FW: Audubon Supports Wetlands Protection Bill

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <audubon-news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 27 Feb 2003 11:08:19 -0500

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> Contact: Bob Perciasepe
> Perry Plumart
> 202-861-2242
> bperciasepe@xxxxxxxxxxx
> pplumart@xxxxxxxxxxx
> Washington, D.C., February 27, 2003 - 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 seeks to remedy a 2001 Supreme 
> Court decision that removed federal protection for so-called > "> 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. 
> "> The phrase > '> isolated wetlands> '>  masks the fact that these wetlands 
> are directly connected to birds and people,> ">  said Bob Perciasepe, 
> Audubon> '> s Senior VP for Policy. > "> Isolated wetlands provide critical 
> nesting and habitat for birds while providing water purification and flood 
> control benefits for people.> "> 
> 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. 
> "> At a time when 40% of our nation> '> s waters are still polluted, we 
> should be working to make our country> '> s waterways cleaner and healthier, 
> not questioning whether some need to be protected.  This legislation is a 
> recognition that most Americans feel this debate ended over 30 years ago and 
> that we should be getting on with the work to finish the job,> ">  said 
> Perciasepe.
> Other types of isolated wetlands, such as bogs and playas, provide crucial 
> habitat for shorebirds, 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 and in the House, and is 
> cosponsored by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and James 
> Jeffords (I-VT), and Reps. James Oberstar (D-MN), John Dingell (D-MI), Jim 
> Leach (R-IA), and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY).
> Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat 
> that supports them.  Our national network of community-based nature centers 
> and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of 
> areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all 
> ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.
> #   #   #

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