Defend the Clean Water Rule

Active | April 01 2014

Clean Water

The new Clean Water Rule finalized by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency restores Clean Water protections to nearly 20 million acres of wetlands and two million miles of streams that provide drinking water for 117 million Americans. Healthy headwaters also support clean water downstream at the beach. The goal of this campaign is to see the Clean Water Rule survive attacks by polluting industries and members of Congress, and to finally be implemented in all US states.


The Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the new Clean Water Rule in August, 2015.  This rule restores 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.

Political pressure and industry interests have delayed implementation of the Clean Water Rule.  There is currently a national stay placed on implementation while lawuits made by several states are decided.  Detractors in Congress has also tried to thwart implementation by using three parallel tracks: 1. passing a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, 2. Passing legislation to force the EPA to withdraw the rule and start all over again, and 3.  by attaching ammendments, or dirty water riders, to federal spending bills that would prevent the agencies from implementing the Clean Water Rule.  Read more about these attacks on our Coastal Blog.

Surfrider continues to work with a national network of NGOs to fend off these attacks and to support Clean Water.  We have an action alert posted here.

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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