[audubon-news] Audubon Statement on Administration's Clean Water Proposal

  • From: "BIANCHI, John" <JBIANCHI@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To:
  • Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 15:49:16 -0500

 <<...OLE_Obj...>>                                      Contact: Bob
bperciasepe@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:bperciasepe@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Perry Plumart
pplumart@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:pplumart@xxxxxxxxxxx>


Administration's Clean Water Proposal;
The Wrong Debate at the Wrong Time

Washington, D.C. Friday, January 10, 2003 - "Clean water is vital to
America.  It is essential for community drinking water, agriculture, fishing
and swimming, birds, and a strong economy.  Clean water is a legacy we all
hope to deliver to our children and grandchildren for their future enjoyment
and health.

"Over 40% of our nation's waters are still polluted yet today the
Administration is opening an unnecessary debate on whether some waters and
wetlands should be protected at all.  This is the wrong debate for our
country at the wrong time.  Clean water is vital to every American's health
and the effort to protect and restore these vital resources in communities
across the country is stalled.

"Today's proposal opens up a debate on what types of 'isolated waters'
should be protected under a successful Clean Water Act. This is a term that
has never been defined before and how it is defined will determine the
extent of the loss of Clean Water Act protection. It is important than the
certainty of protection for our nation's health, wildlife, and natural
resources be restored.  In a separate administrative guidance issued today
on wetland protection, the Administration has failed to close loopholes
allowing more filling and draining.

"Wetlands are the important foundations for healthy and clean water for all
of our communities, major rivers, and streams in the U.S.  We are already
losing up to 100,000 acres a year of vital wetlands and as a country we have
lost over half of our historic wetlands.  These resources provide critical
habitat for wildlife, including great numbers of birds like Mallard Ducks
and species at risk such as the Prairie Warbler, Short-Eared Owl, and Snowy
Plover, to name just a few.  Not only do these areas provide habitat, but
they also are important for maintaining clean water and reducing flooding

"This is a time when we should be working to make our country's waterways
cleaner and healthier, not questioning whether some need to be protected.
Most Americans feel this debate ended over 30 years ago and that we should
be getting on with the work to finish the job.

"While we view this proposal as unnecessary, we challenge the Administration
to use the process to RESTORE Clean Water Act protections to all wetlands
and waters of the United States."

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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