Federal Wetland Programs

Federal Wetland ProgramsASWM works closely with a number of federal agencies that protect, monitor/study and regulate wetlands, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administation (NOAA). These agencies all play a role in protecting and regulating wetlands. An extensive directory of federal agencies that have programs pertaining to wetlands is available by clicking here.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – February 2012

EPA's Office of Water has released its draft National Water Program Guidance for FY2013. Section 3 of the guidance deals heavily with wetlands and coastal waters. This National Water Program Guidance (Guidance) for fiscal year (FY) 2013 describes how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states, territories, and tribal governments will work together to protect and improve the quality of the Nation's waters, including wetlands, and ensure safe drinking water. Within EPA, the Office of Water (OW) oversees the delivery of the national water programs, while the regional offices work with states, tribes, territories, and others to implement these programs and other supporting efforts. For the full draft guidance, click here. For EPA's webpage and other background materials, including key changes, click here

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – October 2011

America’s wetlands declined slightly from 2004-2009, underscoring the need for continued conservation and restoration efforts, according to a report issued today by the Department of Interior.  “Wetlands are at a tipping point,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "While we have made great strides in conserving and restoring wetlands since the 1950s, [...] this report should serve as a call to action to renew our focus on conservation and restoration efforts hand in hand with states, tribes and other partners." 

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition blog August 23, 2011

On Monday, August 22, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released a new publication highlighting the success of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) over its 20-year history.

The Wetlands Reserve Program - According to the report, more than half of all wetland acres in the continental United States have been lost.  In some states, this number is as high as 90 percent.  Given that 70 percent of wetlands are on private lands, farmers and other private landowners play a central role in conserving those that remain. The WRP provides this opportunity.  Over the program’s 20 years, more than 11,000 private landowners have enrolled 2.3 million acres in the WRP.  As the report states, “the voluntary nature of WRP allows effective integration of wetland restoration on working landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program, as well as benefits to the local and rural communities where the wetlands exist.”  for full blog post, click here.

Contact: John Martin – EPA News Release – October 6, 2011

From helping control floods to serving as natural buffers against water pollution to providing recreational opportunities and habitat for fish and wildlife, wetlands offer benefits almost too numerous to count. Members of the public can help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protect these vital areas by reporting suspected violations of the federal laws that protect wetlands in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the areas that comprise EPA Region 2. Violations can now be easily reported on EPA’s website, click here.

By Sherwood Boehlert – Huffington Post – July 13, 2011

Back in 1995, the last time conservative Republicans took control of the House of Representatives, one of the first laws they attacked was the Clean Water Act. As early as today, the House will vote again to undermine that 1972 landmark law, and I hope the results will be the same: a public backlash that stalls environmental rollbacks. The measure the House is considering this week (H.R. 2018) is narrower than the more comprehensive rewrite of the Clean Water Act that House Republicans failed to get enacted in 1995, but it's just as destructive. For full editorial, click here.