We are writing today on behalf of CASS (Consortium of Aquatic Scientific Societies), a group of five scientific societies that include the American Fisheries Society, the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, the Phycological Society of America, the Society for Freshwater Science, and the Society of Wetland Scientists. Our member societies represent more than 12,000 professional aquatic and wetland scientists from academia, government agencies, private industry, NGOs, and elsewhere. Most of the leading freshwater and wetland scientists in the United States belong to at least one of our societies.
As the nation’s leading scientists, we strongly support the current final Clean Water Rule with its inclusion of headwater streams, including intermittent or temporary streams that do not have perennial flow but that do directly drain to a Traditional Navigable Water, interstate waters or the sea. There is ample scientific evidence that there are strong and varied physical, chemical, and biological connections between wetlands, headwater streams (whether they have perennial flow or not) and downstream navigable or interstate waters. Loss of protection of these waters will harm water quality, degrade drinking water, negatively impact water storage that leads to reduced flooding, reduce carbon storage, be deleterious to wildlife and fisheries resources, and cause other harmful impacts. Our member organizations continue to strongly endorse the importance of the Clean Water Rule and find efforts of Senate Joint Resolution 22 (S.J. RES. 22) to be harmful to the interests of the nation. Continue reading.