As Feds Weaken Wetlands Rules, Locals Eye Greater Protections For Otter Creek Swamps

photo: Marc Lapin of Middlebury College, along with Tina Heath, Charlie Hohn and Zapata Courage from Vermont's wetlands program.

Photo, from left: Marc Lapin of Middlebury College, along with Tina Heath, Charlie Hohn and Zapata Courage from the state wetlands program. They recently toured the Cornwall swamp section of the Otter Creek wetlands. JOHN DILLON / VPR

The state’s largest wetlands area stretches 15 miles along the Otter Creek in Addison and Rutland counties. Local groups have started talking to the state about how to provide greater protection for … [more…]

World Wetlands Day, Feb. 2nd

photo: Kermit sings for World Wetlands Day

Everyone should be commemorating World Wetland’s Day on Feb. 2nd, they are indispensable to a healthy environment!

The reasons for preserving our wetlands are endless but here are some of the most critical: wetlands provide a vital habitat for thousands of animals, fish, birds and plants. Wetlands control erosion and provide flood protection by buffering shorelines during storms; wetlands improve water quality; and wetlands offer a unique aesthetic and recreational … [more…]

Working for our wetlands

Working for our wetlands

Wetlands – including lakes, lagoons, bogs and peatlands, as well as swamps and marshes – are regions that experience seasonal or perennial flooding. They generally host a range of plants and animals, and are vital to the survival of these species. However, they are also fragile ecosystems that require monitoring and maintenance to prevent their loss. In the context of World Wetlands Day, celebrated every year on 2 February, let’s … [more…]

Lame Duck Fallout in Michigan

Lame Duck Fallout

What a group of last-minute laws mean for Michigan’s environment

Four bills state legislators passed during its lame duck session have transformed Michigan’s environmental policy.

One sweeping new law prevents the state from enacting environmental standards that are stricter than federal standards, except in certain cases. Another rolled back wetlands regulations. A third made it harder for state regulators to react to scientific developments when measuring hazardous contamination. A fourth … [more…]

New rules limiting clean water protections ignore stream science

photo: the Little Colorado River. re: Clean Water Act

Photo: Sections of the Little Colorado River in northern Arizona are ephemeral, flowing most frequently during the spring to accommodate snowmelt runoff or during the summer monsoon season. In this view, the river is at flood stage, with water cascading over the falls. Dale Nations/Flickr CC

On Dec. 11, the Trump administration announced plans to cut back the number of wetlands and creeks protected under the Clean Water Act, which … [more…]