Compiled by SWS members Joy Zedler, Daniel Larkin and Carter Johnson.
SWS is an international membership organization of more than 3,000 wetland professionals dedicated to fostering sound wetland science, education, and management.
SWS supports the EPA proposed rule on waters of the US as follows:
The proposed rule is science-based, following EPA’s review of over 1,000 peer-reviewed papers on the physical, chemical, and biological connections by which streams, wetlands, and open-waters affect downstream waters such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. The review is comprehensive, clear, technically accurate, and it summarizes solid science. The proposed rule correctly addresses the provision of clean water, which is a well-known function of wetlands. Here, we emphasize and expand on the following topics:
- The quality of downstream waters depends on materials that are (or are not) discharged upstream in the watershed and carried by streams to wetlands that can remove materials and cleanse the water.
- The system of connected streams and wetlands includes wetlands that perform in aggregate, both synergistically and cumulatively. We illustrate this for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR).
- Because water quality is degraded during and after flooding, SWS supports the need to protect wetlands to reduce flood risk. Continue reading.