SWS Wetlands Concerns Committee Organization and Process

(Approved at the 1/99 business meeting)

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE. Demand for accurate, scientific information on wetland issues exists at all levels of government and in the private sector. As the Nation's principal wetland scientific organization, the Society of Wetland Scientists has a professional responsibility to address regional, national and international issues that affect the current and future status of wetlands in North America.

The Wetland Concerns Committee (WCC) was established in 1995 as a Standing Committee of the Society of Wetland Scientists, Inc. It is the Society's objective to increase public understanding of wetland issues and promote sound public policy through the development and communication of position papers that are based upon the best available scientific information.


  1. WCC solicits membership participation, as necessary, through the Bulletin, the SWS INTERNET homepage, written and verbal communication.
  2. SWS membership submits issue or draft position paper to WCC.
  3. WCC reviews proposed issues and draft position papers and rejects those that do not meet the Criteria for Submitting/Reviewing Issues and draft Position Papers.
  4. WCC invites a member with expertise in the proposed issue to draft a position paper, and facilitates the review, by knowledgeable members, of a draft position paper and makes any subsequent revisions.
  5. WS Board of Directors reviews the draft position paper (2 week deadline).
  6. WCC submits draft position paper(s) to the Bulletin editors for inclusion in the next issue, inviting a three month comment period for the general membership.
  7. WCC makes appropriate revisions to the draft position paper, with input from the original drafter and reviewers.
  8. WCC submits draft position paper(s) to the SWS Board of Directors, for their approval, and for vote of the membership at the annual business meeting.
  9. Approved position papers shall be published in the Society's Membership Directory and Handbook, added to the SWS homepage, and copies provided to appropriate policy makers for their consideration.


  1. The issue must be of regional, national, or international importance to wetland resources.
  2. The issue must be within the expertise of the SWS membership.
  3. Relevant facts and scientific information must be available and referenced to support the development of a position paper on the issue.
  4. The position paper must not duplicate or contradict existing position papers.
  5. The position paper must be written with scientific objectivity, thus avoiding even the appearance of political lobbying.

WCC MEMBERS. The Wetland Concerns Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and one or more permanant (3-year) members. The Chairperson shall be appointed by the SWS President, with the concurrence of the Board of Directors, and serve for no more than two, consecutive, three year terms. The permanent members shall be appointed by the Chairperson and will serve no more than two, consecutive, three year terms.