Supreme Court Decision Threatens Waterways that Birds (and People) Need

“This Supreme Court ruling weakens our federal standards for clean water, threatening our ability to protect ecosystems and landscapes needed for birds and communities across the country,” stated Julie Hill-Gabriel, Audubon’s Vice President for Water Conservation. “Federal experts will no longer be able to require certain development permits in America’s decimated wetlands. This decision undermines Clean Water Act protections for many types of waterways that birds and people need, all the while birds are telling us that more action is needed to protect their future.”

In lately’s ruling, the United States Supreme Court curtailed the facility of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to keep watch over “waters of the United States”. While the Clean Water Act contains regulatory definitions for many huge our bodies of water and rivers, smaller waterways that could be seasonal or disconnected aren’t as obviously outlined. Today’s ruling limits the facility of the companies to allow actions on many of those smaller waterways and signifies that unregulated construction can happen in lots of of those spaces.

With the lack of 3 billion birds up to now 50 years—partially because of dwindling wetlands and important construction of herbal areas—and Audubon science appearing that two-thirds of North American fowl species are in peril of extinction from local weather exchange, motion is wanted to offer protection to the water our bodies and habitats that birds want to live to tell the tale. Waters all through the United States like seasonal streams and remoted wetlands function very important habitat for birds and different flora and fauna. These water our bodies supply an important assets of ingesting water, meals, and vitamin for birds. Birds additionally use lakes, streams, and wetlands for breeding and nesting, in addition to for leisure stops all the way through lengthy migratory trips.

Wetlands and seasonal streams supply extra than simply vital fowl habitat—additionally they supply us with nature’s filters to wash our ingesting water and offer protection to us from storms, floods, and different climatic stressors. Too many low-income communities, tribal communities, and communities of colour wouldn’t have constant get admission to to protected, reasonably priced ingesting water and powerful protections underneath the Clean Water Act are had to fortify those communities.

“More than fifty years ago, Congress came together in a bipartisan manner to pass the Clean Water Act,” stated Hill-Gabriel. “We all need clean water to survive and thrive and this ruling means that there are now fewer tools in the toolbox for our federal agencies to protect vital habitats and waterways for birds and people.”

Audubon will proceed operating with state and native decision-makers to make stronger protections for waterways that birds want.


Media Contact:
Joey Kahn
Communications Director for Water Conservation

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