Prairie Pothole Region not protected by Clean Water Act

World’s most productive duck breeding grounds in immediate danger

MEMPHIS, Tenn. June 5, 2007 - Most wetlands remain in jeopardy today. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, geographically isolated wetlands are not protected under the Clean Water Act. The two federal agencies issued a joint guidance Tuesday for how their field offices should interpret and implement the Rapanos-Carabell Supreme Court decision of 2006.

"The guidance issued today in response to the 2006 Supreme Court decision provides some clarity with respect to protection of a small subset of wetlands, but it excludes protection for tens of millions of acres of geographically isolated wetlands. These wetlands, typified by the prairie potholes, are the lifeblood of the breeding grounds and are the most important wetlands to waterfowl on the continent," said Ducks Unlimited Executive Vice President Don Young. "This guidance makes it clear that passage of legislation such as the Clean Water Restoration Act is vitally important if we are going to maintain the wetlands that waterfowl depend upon. Ducks Unlimited will work with Congress, with federal agencies, and with the White House to find ways to protect prairie potholes and other important wetlands."

Contact: Laura Houseal
(901) 758-3764

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.