According to representatives of The American Fisheries Society, a new Supreme Court ruling in the important Clean Water Act event Sackett v. EPA severely damaged the future of our country’s fish and aquatic ecosystems.
National protection for the majority of ponds in the United States are removed by the court’s extremely strict test for determining when a pond is” Waters of the U States”( WOTUS ) under the Clean Water Act. The choice defies logic and will have a remarkable effect on aquatic ecosystems, individual health, fish, and fisheries.
In some rivers, this choice leaves more than 50 % of the lakes unprotected by the Clean Water Act. This choice will have a ripple effect of poorer water quality, increased flooding and waste, habitat loss for fish and wildlife, and decreased carbon store.
The Clean Water Act’s sole goal, which is to restore and maintain the water quality of the country ‘ ponds, is at conflict with this ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. The technology surrounding wetlands and streams must be used to decide which waterways the Clean Water Act protects in order to fulfill its mission. However, there is no scientific support for the court’s decision to limit Clean Water Act protections to lakes that have a” ongoing surface connection” to historically navigable water. In this case, the court disregarded fifty years of research that show how classic accessible waters are a component of interconnected watery systems and how wetlands provide crucial services like reliable stream flows, floodwater storage, and water filtration through surface and subsurface connections.
In some areas of the United States, habitat loss now approaches or exceeds 85 %. Wetlands’ capacity to filter out pollutants, absorb flood waters, lessen drought, refill groundwater aquifers, and stabilize shorelines may be severely compromised by unregulated dredging and filling. This decision may undoubtedly affect how wetlands function, which help make sure that accessible waters are usable, fishables, and swimmable. Climate change is bringing more extreme weather events, such as flooding and droughts. It has never been more crucial to safeguard our priceless lakes in the face of climate shift.
The American Fisheries Society joined a number of other aquatic scientific organizations in arguing for stronger Clean Water Act protections in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court. We demonstrated how severely restricting the Clean Water Act would harm ponds, rivers and streams, fish and wildlife habitat, and people. The U.S. Congress should and must take action to make sure the Clean Water Act you fulfill the law’s requirements, restore and preserve the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the country, as well as protect our usable, fish – and capable waters.