Audubon California statement on passage of vital wetlands protection policy

California Water Resources Control Board passes new policy in response to Trump Administration abandonment of the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Sacramento, Calif. – Audubon California today thanked the staff and members of the California State Water Resources Control Board for their leadership in approving a comprehensive policy to protect wetlands in the state. The Water Board took this step in response to the Trump Administration’s 2017 decision to rescind the Federal Government’s Waters of the United States policy that rolled back protection of wetlands in California and across the country.

“Among the many devastating rollbacks of important environmental regulations by the Trump Administration, the decision to rescind the Waters of the U.S. rule was one of the earliest and most dangerous for birds and other wildlife,” said Audubon California Public Policy Director Michael Lynes. “Millions of migratory birds and other wildlife will benefit from the leadership of the California Water Resources Control Board in passing this policy..”

California has lost over 90% of its wetlands as a result of human activities, resulting in significant declines in bird populations and other sensitive wildlife. Many native species of birds will face even greater challenges with climate change and increasing frequency of drought. Many of these last remaining wetlands were left unprotected by the Trump Administration’s decision.

“The State Board’s policy really represents compromise from all parties and it does not provide all of the protections that California’s wetlands really need and deserve,” Lynes said. “But it represents a significant step forward for California. Adoption of the policy makes a strong statement that California will determine for itself how to manage its last wetlands, rather than leaving that up to the Trump Administration.”

About Audubon California

Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures. With more than 350,000 members and supporters in California and an affiliated 48 local Audubon chapters, Audubon California is a field program of the National Audubon Society. More information is available at

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