News

ASWM has been a valuable source for wetland-related news for over 10 years. It publishes the monthly "Wetland Breaking News," which is widely read as a national publication. News items are also posted under major topic categories, for example, climate change, Gulf oil spill, state wetland program news and job postings. These can be found in the drop-down menu below "News," or select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read. In Wetland Breaking Newsaddition to publishing WBN, the Association also offers original content with announcements, legal analysis, quirky wetland stories and more on its weekly blog, The Compleat Wetlander.

EPA’s water rule takes bipartisan beating

By Benjamin Goad – The Hill – June 11, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to redefine the scope of its authority over the nation’s waters drew a barrage of criticism Wednesday from House lawmakers accusing the agency of trampling on the rights of states and landowners. Deputy EPA Administrator Robert Perciasepe maintained the agency's draft “Waters of the United States” rule unveiled earlier this year merely clarifies decades-old regulations governing which bodies of water fall under federal jurisdiction and permitting requirements. But some Democrats on the House Transportation Committee expressed strong reservations about the plan, and Republicans decried it as a blatant power grab. For full story, click here.

New bay restoration pact signed

By Timothy B. Wheeler – The Baltimore Sun – June 16, 2014

Government officials involved in the multistate Chesapeake Bay cleanup pledged Monday to broaden and accelerate the long-running effort, including a vow to address the impacts of climate change on the ailing estuary. Governors of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Delaware signed a new bay restoration agreement in Annapolis, which for the first time formally encompasses "upstream" states with smaller slices of the 64,000-square-mile watershed, including New York and West Virginia. Other signatories were Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, and Ronald E. Miller, a Pennsylvania state representative and chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, which represents state lawmakers. For full blog post, click here.

President Obama Announces National Disaster Resilience Competition

The White House – June 14, 2014

Responding to demand from state, local and tribal leaders who are working to increase the safety and security of their communities, President Obama has announced a nearly $1 billion competition that will invite communities that have experienced natural disasters to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase their resilience to future disasters. The competition will support innovative resilience projects at the local level while encouraging communities to adopt policy changes and activities that plan for the impacts of extreme weather and climate change and rebuild affected areas better prepare for the future. Of the nearly $1 billion available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds from the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, about $820 million will be available to all states and local governments that experienced a Presidentially-declared major disaster in 2011, 2012, and 2013. States in the Hurricane Sandy-affected region will be eligible to compete for approximately $180 million, to help address critical housing needs, building on the successful model set forth by HUD's Rebuild by Design competition. All successful applicants will need to show how their proposed action relates to the disaster from which they are recovering. HUD will ensure that geographic diversity is a consideration in the selection of participating communities. For more information, see the White House press release here.