Preserve in Arizona
Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve in Arizona © Brian Prescott


Administration’s Proposed Rule Puts Clean Water at Risk

Arlington, Va.

The Nature Conservancy submitted public comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency about the agencies’ jointly proposed new definition of which bodies of water are covered by the Clean Water Act.

The following is a statement from Vice President for Policy and Government Relations Lynn Scarlett about the proposed rule:

“Rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands are critical to the well-being of people and nature. They provide valuable—and often irreplaceable—benefits to communities, such as absorbing floodwaters, improving drinking water and creating recreation opportunities. They also provide habitat for fish and other wildlife. These benefits depend on the safeguards embodied in the Clean Water Act.

“Unfortunately, the administration’s new definition puts many clean water benefits at risk. The proposal ignores the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that small streams and wetlands are critical to the health of our communities and waterways. It also fails to account for the significant costs—such as lost recreation dollars, increased water treatment needs and greater disaster recovery expenses—that will come with protecting fewer waters than at any time in the history of the Clean Water Act.

“We must protect the waters and wetlands that help meet the many needs of our communities, our economy and our nation. We urge this administration to return to a science-based implementation of the Clean Water Act—as every administration has done since the act’s passage in 1972.” 

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries and territories: 38 by direct conservation impact and 34 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.