Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

In Light of Colorado Floods, New EPA Report Reveals Importance of Wetlands and Streams

In Light of Colorado Floods, New EPA Report Reveals Importance of Wetlands and Streams

EcoWatch

By Laura Beans

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence, detailing the impact that small bodies of water, such as streams and wetlands, have on larger waterways further downstream. The report looks at the effects of downstream pollution on drinking water and public health.

“Each day, our nation’s streams provide drinking water for millions of families and more than a third of Americans," said Micheal Brune, executive director of Sierra Club. "Without strong protections, these streams risk pollution, and wetlands risk being filled, exacerbating—or even causing—downstream floods that threaten public safety and homeowners."

Unprotected waterways can have devastating impacts on communities. Pleasant Mountain Road in Colorado has been destroyed by flooding.

According to Environment America, the report is expected to trigger the Obama Administration to clarify and restore protections for some of America's most important waterways. According to the U.S. EPA's own data, loopholes in the Clean Water Act leave 59 percent of streams across the country unprotected. The U.S. EPA’s report pulls together the existing science on these streams, wetlands and other unprotected waterways and outlines their connection to downstream waters. Americans across the country have spoken out in support of protecting all of America’s waterways—more than 200,000 public comments were submitted to the U.S. EPA, and more than 430 local elected officials and 180 farmers have encouraged the Obama administration to restore critical protections to our waterways.

“Loopholes in the Clean Water Act have left the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk of dangerous pollution,” said Ally Fields, clean water advocate for Environment America. “This report pulls together the best science available on how our smaller lakes, streams and wetlands are connected to iconic waterways across the country.”

“Protecting our waters also makes economic sense," Brune continued. "Wetlands in the continental U.S. save at least $30 billion a year in flood damage repair costs—an important fact as our nation faces stronger and more destructive weather brought on by climate disruption."

“Wetlands and small streams are critical habitat for fish and wildlife but they will remain at risk until the new 'waters of the U.S.' rulemaking is complete," said Jan Goldman-Carter of National Wildlife Federation. "The White House must move quickly to protect the many wetlands, lakes and tributary streams that influence the health of our nation’s rivers and our drinking water supplies.”

Visit EcoWatch’s CLEAN WATER ACT page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Sun Cable hopes to start construction of the world's largest solar farm in 2023. Sun Cable
A large expanse of Australia's deserted Outback will house the world's largest solar farm and generate enough energy to export power to Singapore, as The Guardian reported.
Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Construction on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric station in 2015. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
A new study has revealed that Earth's biggest mass extinction was triggered by volcanic activity that led to ocean acidification. Illustration by Dawid Adam Iurino (PaleoFactory, Sapienza University of Rome) for Jurikova et al (2020)

The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.

Read More Show Less
Coronavirus-sniffing dogs Miina and Kössi (R) are seen in Vantaa, Finland on September 2, 2020. Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP/ Getty Images

By Teri Schultz

Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.

Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch