Defend the Clean Water Rule

Active | April 01 2014

Clean Water

President Trump's administration has repealed the Clean Water Rule finalized in 2015 that restored Clean Water protections to nearly 20 million acres of wetlands and two million miles of streams that provide drinking water for 117 million Americans. The goal of this campaign is to prevent any weakening of protections in the replacement Waters of the U. S. Rule that is issued and ultimately implemented by the EPA.


The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Waters of the US (WOTUS), or Clean Water Rule, in August, 2015.  This rule restored CWA protections to intermittent streams and wetlands as previously defined before two Supreme Court decisions made in 2001 & 2006 made enforcement unclear.   

These small streams and wetlands need our protection as they impact the quality and health of downstream coastal waters and ultimately the ocean.  These upstream waters contribute to our drinking water supplies, provide flood protection and recreational opportunities, and support healthy communities and strong economies.

Since 2015, political pressure and industry interests have delayed implementation of the Clean Water Rule.  Under President Trump's Administration, the EPA has repealed the 2015 rule and has released a new rule that is a radical reintrepretation of the Clean Water Act and is significantly less protective of clean water and public health.  Read more about the Dirty Water Rule issued by the EPA in February 2019. Meanwhile the 2015 rule is still held up in court while lawuits made by several states are decided.  

Surfrider will work with a national network of NGOs to oppose any weakening or roll-backs of Clean Water Act protections and will urge EPA to issue a rule as protective as the 2015 Clean Water Rule through their public input process.

Clean Water

Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.

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