WASHINGTON—Today, the White House announced its final repeal of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a 2015 law which protects wetlands—essential habitat for birds and other wildlife. This is the first step in a two-phase proposal by the Administration to repeal the previous rule and replace it with a new rule that significantly weakens protections and makes more wetlands vulnerable to destruction.
“The decision today scraps a science-based effort to protect wetlands. In particular, this rollback could result in the development of wetlands and allow more pollutants to reach nearby rivers, streams and groundwater,” said Julie Hill-Gabriel, Vice President for Water Conservation at the National Audubon Society. “It will put drinking water at risk, and it threatens millions of acres of bird habitat at a time when climate change is putting even more strain on the places birds need.”
Approximately one-third of North American bird species, including the Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, the Brown Pelican, and the Prothonotary Warbler use wetlands for food, shelter, or breeding. Some 138 species and subspecies of birds in the U.S. are designated as “wetland dependent.”
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.
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