Public Comment Period is Open for Clean Water Act Rules

An essential component to Great Lakes health is the restoration of wetlands and streams surrounding the Lakes. You can show your support for stronger wetlands protections and stream restoration under the Clean Water Act by commenting on the EPA’s science advisory report. This report will inform how the EPA protects streams and wetlands.

Importance in the Great Lakes

Wetlands are critical to Great Lakes health because they slow the time it take water to get into the Lakes, minimizing flood risk in lakeside communities and filtering pollutants out of the water at the same time. Wetlands also provide critical habitat for wildlife throughout the Great Lakes. The EPA estimates that more than 50% of the wetlands in the Great Lakes have been lost, harming lake communities, wildlife, and the overall health of the Lakes.

 

Healthy streams are similarly important to the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Many native fish, such as lake sturgeon, need to migrate upstream to spawn. Lake sturgeon’s offspring imprint on that river and return, themselves, to spawn in about 20 years. The long-term health of Great Lakes tributaries is critical for the survival of fish, the success of wildlife, and the enjoyment of people.

How to Take Action

HOW Coalition member, the National Wildlife Federation has put together a quick and simple tool to help you submit comments directly to the federal register on the Clean Water Act rules. This is a national campaign that impacts streams and wetlands outside of the Great Lakes area, but with an ecosystem that provides drinking water for 30 million people, the health of the Great Lakes is an excellent reason to express your support for these rules. The public comment period is open until November.

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