We've likely all seen headlines like this recent AP article: "Trump's move to redefine water rule threatens wetlands banks". Luckily for Floridians, our State long ago adopted more restrictive environmental policies than what the Federal laws provide. Therefore, unless there is a major peeling away of the State of Florida's right to do so or the will of Floridians, we should be OK.
However, many other States are not so lucky and still use the Federal wetland system. Administrator Pruitt is being disingenuous when he says that "prairie puddles" are being claimed as Federal waters. The current Federal system requires wetlands to have "significant nexus" with a navigable waterway to be claimed as such. A "dry creek bed" could certainly meet this definition, as many connect directly with larger water bodies; but a puddle would not.
Wetlands are crucial components to our ecosystem. They filter away pollutants, allow for flood control, and provide essential habitat for most species. Relaxing the rules on protecting them is certainly a step in the wrong direction. Given the current conditions of most of our water bodies, I believe we should doing more.
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