I am a Concerned Citzen

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

                         – Aldo Leopold

EPA Region 2 will host two Citizen Scientist Workshops on June 19, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the EPA office, 290 Broadway, Floor 27, New York, New York. For agenda and registration, click here. The next workshop will be held on June 20, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at EPA Region 2 office, 2890 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, New Jersey. For agenda and registration information, click here. For questions, contact Patricia Sheridan at or Rachael Graham at .

National Wildlife Federation & River Network – May 2012

As many of you know, two Supreme Court decisions and bad policies from the Bush Administration have thrown the issue of Clean Water Act protections for certain creeks and wetlands into question. The Obama Administration is poised to release a guidance that attempts to answer that very critical question—which waterbodies are protected under the Clean Water Act—any day now. Although a contest sponsored by the River Network and the National Wildlife Federation was over as of May 7th, this webpage includes some great tips on how to write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper about Clean Water Act jurisdiction issues and the importance of protecting headwater streams, wetlands and watersheds. For full story, click here.

...is under development or facing a development project, and you are concerned about the wetland. For larger wetlands, it might be wise to learn about the federal Clean Water Act and what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does at the Office of Water and Wetlands. For what they do, click here. To learn about wetlands in different regions throughout the U.S., click here for the EPA's webpage, Science Notebook entry on wetlands.

Understanding local, state and federal dredge and fill permitting programs can be complicated! ASWM has put a few guides together here for citizens to learn about these programs that affect wetlands and the regulated activities, e.g. filling in a wetland. American Rivers published A Citizen's Guide to the Corps of Engineers, which has a chapter on understanding the Section 404 Program, including the regulation of wetlands under the Clean Water Act. For the full guide, click here.

If the wetland is being filled or dredged without a permit, go to the town or county office to inquire as to the status of the permit application for the project. If the local and state authorities know nothing about a project or permit for that wetland, they might take the lead in investigating it. If you are a resident, you have a right to know about the permitting authority (whether it is the local, state or federal government) for that wetland project. For information on state wetland programs, click here.

The Center for Watershed Protection recently launched the Wetlands-At-Risk Protection Tool (WARPT) which is a process for local governments that acknowledges the role of wetlands as an important part of their community infrastructure, and is used to develop a plan for protecting at-risk wetlands and their functions. To view resources and webcast which was held on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 to provide an overview of the WARPT, click here.