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WOTUS rollback threatens half of US wetlands, fifth of streams

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Rachel Rhodes

The Trump administration finalized the legal rollback of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule this week, a rule issued by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers under President Obama to expand waterway eligibility for environmental protection.


Amanda Rodewald

Amanda Rodewald

Professor; Senior Director of Conservation Science, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Amanda Rodewald is the senior director of conservation science with Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology, and she served as the chair of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board during the review of the science underpinning WOTUS.  

Rodewald says:

“With so many threats to the quality and quantity of our nation’s water resources, this rollback moves us in the wrong direction and eliminates protection from half of wetlands and one-fifth of streams in the U.S.”

Brian Rahm

Director of the New York State Water Resources Institute

Brian Rahm is the director of Cornell University’s New York State Water Resources Institute and is a senior research associate in the department of biological and environmental engineering.  

Rahm says:

“We continue to support the science review that accompanied the 2015 WOTUS rulemaking. While this issue has created controversy, much of what we know about the connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters is well founded in scientific theory and observation. It does not do our nation justice to ignore this science simply because we don’t like what it implies.”


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