The Rapanos and Carabell cases both arose in Michigan. These cases have attracted national attention, but few pictures have been available of these sites.


The Rapanos case before the Supreme Court is a civil case where Mr. Rapanos has been found guilty of filling and draining a total of 54 acres of wetlands at three different sites without state or federal permits, and challenged the jurisdiction of federal agencies over these wetlands. Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in carrying out the original enforcement action under Michigan's state administered Section 404 Permit program. Wetlands impacted by Mr. Rapanos' activities included 15 acres of mostly forested wetland directly adjacent to the boatable Pine River (Pine River site) - a major tributary of the Tittabawassee River; and 17 acres of mixed wetland habitat adjacent to the Rose Drain, (Hines Road Site) about one mile from its confluence with the Tittabawassee River. In addition to the civil conviction, Mr. Rapanos was found guilty in a federal criminal trial of destroying at least 22 acres of wetlands at the headwaters of the Kawkawlin River (Salzburg Site). Rapanos previously appealed this case to the Supreme Court, but the court declined to review it.

Rapanos Sites:

The one picture that has been published in the media is one of John Rapanos standing in a field at the Salzburg road site (April 2004 Transverse City Record Eagle) over 15 years after it was drained and filled by Rapanos in the mid to late 1980's.


The permit application to alter the Carabell property dates back to the mid-80's. In the Carabell case, the landowner applied for a permit to clear, drain, and fill almost 16 acres of forested wetland located approximately one mile from Lake St. Clair (and in close proximity to the "Riverside Bayview" property which was the subject of a previous Supreme Court ruling extending federal jurisdiction to wetlands adjacent to stream systems). This permit application was denied by the Corps of Engineers in part because the landscape of forested wetlands in close proximity to Lake St. Clair -- a part of the Great Lakes system lying between the U.S. and Canada and connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie -- has been seriously degraded by historical development.

Carabell Site (PDF)