In April 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a new rule eliminating federal oversight for millions of acres of wetlands and small streams. The Southern Environmental Law Center has estimated the rule resulted in a loss of federal protections for roughly 900,000 acres in the Cape Fear and Neuse river basins alone — much larger across the Coastal Plain as a whole, or statewide.
North Carolina has already lost more than 50% of our wetlands and those that remain are vital for absorbing stormwater and preventing flooding downstream, among the many other benefits they provide. READ MORE ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WETLANDS HERE!
This month, the NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC) has proposed a new rule that would establish a state permitting program to protect our wetlands and manage flooding in our communities. Help us show the EMC that North Carolinians support protecting our wetlands by sending a letter today!
Wetlands and small streams play a critical role in filtering harmful pollution, protecting drinking water, sustaining our wildlife, and reducing flooding downstream. The proposal by the EMC fills a critical permitting gap created by the rollbacks of federal wetland protections.