Talk:No net loss wetlands policy

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Please place feedback here[edit]

First off, great article. I like the way that you have everything formatted, which makes for an easy to read and understand article. I enjoyed seeing the different cases that have been presented on the topic and how the courts ruled on them. I also enjoyed the history of the No Net Loss Wetlands policy. However, I did notice a few problems.

  1. Make sure that you are consistent with the capitalization of No Net Loss Wetlands. Some of the sections have it capitalized and others do not.
  2. Define what CWA stands for before using it in the article (this was under the Clinton section). Also, is there a Wikipedia page about section 404? If there is linking it up would be a great idea so that people have a better idea of what section 404 is all about.
  3. If possible I would like to see some more information under the definition section, since I think that it would allow for a better set up of some additional background information for people who have not taken Environmental Law here in SPEA.

Meghan.lyn.fischer (talk) 21:51, 13 April 2011 (UTC)

Hello Wetlands team,

First, I would say that I really like the framework of you Wikipedia article. It flows really well and provides the reader with a good basis of information. I’ve read what my pesticide team colleague Megan wrote and I agree with her suggestions. Also, I wanted to add that you should state why it is important for the United States to preserve wetlands. I’m not convinced that the general public has a good grasp on why wetlands are important to our society. This may just be a blurb about the benefits of wetlands with a link to another Wikipedia site or well defined section that’s incorporated into your site. (Shanwich (talk) 21:14, 19 April 2011 (UTC)).

Hi, Your article looks really good, and is organized well. I think tables are a good way of presenting your information. Have you thought about explaining what happened to prompt the wetlands policy? I also agree that there should be some mention of the benefits of wetlands. Overall, it is well-developed and easy to follow. Lauschro (talk) 19:09, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

George Bush Sr. did not enter the presidency until January 20th 1989, so I'm confused on the phrasing of the article stating that the policy was adopted under his administration in 1988. (talk) 15:08, 17 April 2013 (UTC)


No Net Loss is the United States government's overall policy regrading wetlands preservation. The goal of the policy is to balance wetland loss due to economic development with wetlands reclamation, mitigation, and restorations efforts, so that the total acreage of wetlands in the country does not decrease, but remains constant or increases. [1] [2] To achieve the objective of no net loss, the federal government utilizes several different environmental policy tools which legally protect wetlands, provide rules and regulations for citizens and corporations interacting with wetlands, and incentives for the preservation and conservation of wetlands. Given the multiple benefits[3] of wetlands, the decrease from nearly 220 million acres in the lower 48 states to 107.7 million acres in 2004 [4] is of great concern to local, state, and federal agencies as well as the public interest they serve. Pirateskot (talk) 17:04, 31 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot

Origins of No Net Loss[edit]

It has been estimated that over half the acreage of wetlands in the United States has been lost within the last four hundred years. Currently, approximately 100 million acres of wetlands remain[5]. Since the 1950s, over fifty percent of this loss has come from wetlands being transitioned to agricultural lands[6]. Other contributing factors to wetlands loss include but are not limited to development and forestry. Yingkeli (talk) 12:27, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

No Net Loss Wetlands Policy was written in the 1987 at the National Wetlands Policy Forum [7] and was first adopted by President George H.W. Bush administration in 1989. The policy, which represented compromise between development and conservation, was grounded on the needs to protect the wetlands by creating and restoring the wetlands. Pirateskot (talk) 16:37, 31 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot

Definition of No Net Loss[edit]

  • permitting under the Clean Water Act §404 for activities that dredge or fill nations waters[8]
  • mitigation policies - replace and restore destroyed wetlands to prevent net loss

Pirateskot (talk) 21:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot

No Net Loss Policy Under Past President Presidential Administrations[edit]

George H.W. Bush[edit]

No Net Loss was first adopted as a national goal under George H.W. Bush’s administration in 1988, after he campaigned on the policy. It emphasized three elements on its policy: strengthening the wetland conservation and acquisition measures, revising the delineation manual, improving and streamlining the wetlands regulatory program[9] . All of these measures are aimed at maintaining wetlands quantity and quality of the national wetland resources.

Bill Clinton[edit]

During his presidency, Bill Clinton's administration reiterated the same pledge by endorsing and updating the No Net Loss Policy. The Clinton Administration’s commitment was to increase the fairness and flexibility, as well as speed of permit issuances over dredged or fill materials into waters as a part of the Section 404 CWA implementation. It also aimed to resolve the differences in the delineation of wetlands area. Finally, the administration committed to increasing funding for wetland restoration measures, such as Wetland Reserve Program under the USDA, voluntary wetlands restoration programs, non-regulatory conservation initiatives, and mitigation banks.[10]The Clinton administration's 1998 Clean Water Action Plan aimed for a net gain of 100,000 acres of wetlands each year[11] .

George W. Bush[edit]

The administration of George W. Bush endorsed the no net loss goal in December of 2002, when it released the National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan. This plan outlined improvements to be implement in wetland protection and mitigation by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Highway Administration. [12] Additional action by the Bush administration includes a push to clarify and redefine wetlands under the Clean Water Act. This proposal, published on January 10, 2003 guided federal agencies to not require Clean Water Act permits for non-navigable and isolated wetlands.

Barack Obama[edit]

Following the lead of the previous three presidential administrations, Barack Obama also pledged his commitment to No Net Loss. The Obama administration increased funding of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act to ensure no net loss operation, however funding has been cut in the current budget[13]. Obama campaigned to amend the Clean Water Act and to extend the Swampbuster program, however these commitments have yet to be followed through with. Barack Obama’s administration is additionally is working with Congress to amend the Clean Water Act so that isolated wetlands will fall under the Act’s protection[14]. 16:28, 31 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot Yingkeli (talk) 20:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Federal Policy Tools[edit]

Assigning Rights[edit]

Clean Water Act §404 - cannot discharge into waters of the US, this includes wetlands §404

  • Wetlands under the CWA - cannot always be subject to 404 since:
    • Supreme Court Decision: Rapanos v. United States (2006) changed how wetlands are regulated under the clear water act[15][16]
  • 2001 Supreme Court decision Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) v. United States Army Corps of Engineers[17]
    • limited scope of Corpos authority to isolated wetlands in §404 Permitting

Pirateskot (talk) 21:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot endah_nia 10:03, 16 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ekurniaw (talkcontribs)

Other Wetlands Laws and Regulations[edit]

Year Law Description
2000 Corps updated permitting with limits Description
1996 Migratory Bird Rule[18] Description
1995 bills to change wetland management but don’t become law Description
1994 National Food Security Act Manual[19] Description
1993 Clinton’s “Protecting America’s Wetlands: A Fair, Flexible, and Effective Approach”[20] Description
1992 Takings of wetlands Supreme Court Decision Lucas v. North Carolina[21] Description
1991 EPA revised federal manual of 1989 Description
1990 | Description
1989 Federal manual by EPA, COE, FWS, SCS[23] Description

Pirateskot (talk) 21:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot

endah_nia 10:12, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

Non-regulatory protection[24][edit]

State 10th amendment (police powers)

Year Act Effect
 ???? §101, 303, 319, 402 of Clean Water Act Effect
 ???? Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act Effect
1985/1990 Farm Bills Swampbuster Provision Effect
 ???? Small Wetland Acquisition Program (SWAP) Effect
 ???? Water Bank Act Example
1990 §6217 of Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA) Example
Example Fish and Wildlife Service's Wetland Action Plan Example
Example | Examp le
Example Example Example

[ [User:Pirateskot|Pirateskot]] ([[User talk:Pirateskot|talk] ]) 16: 36, 31 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot


  • Private Sector- Public Sector Collaboration
    • Conservation easement programs. Conservation easement program is a voluntary program that transfers the right of land use from the landowner to the government to restore and protect a habitat. This program is administered by US Fish and Wildlife Service. This program is effective since the government does not need to purchase the land and the landowner still has access to maintain their land. In implementing the program, the Service collaborates with some organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, Montana Fish, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
    • federal grants and direct payments. Tw o examples of direct payment program are Wetland Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program. Those programs are regulated under the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (the 2008 Farm Bill) which has objective to increase agricultural productivity and conservation in private lands.
      • Wetland Reserve Program. The stakeholders collaborated in the program are USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The objective of the program is to provide technical and financial assistance to eligible landowner to participate to protect and restore their wetland. The eligible participate will receive the easement value and the restoration costs of their wetlands.
      • Conservation Reserve Program. The program is administered by FSA and funded by Commodity Credit Corporation. The objective of the program is to provide technical and financial assistance to eligible farmer and rancher to increase forest and wetland resources, to reduce soil erosion, to maintain nation’s ability for producing food and fiber, to reduce sedimentations in stream and lakes, to improve water quality and to establish wildlife habitat. At this point, the technical and financial assistance are given by FSA and USDA. The direct payment will be based on the rental value of the land farmers which will be paid annually.
    • Education. Education and awareness can be done through some methods, inter alia, training for the specific group, public campaign on wetlands protection and develop some posters related to wetland protection. A good example of public and private sector collaboration on wetlands protection education is the Five Star Restoration Program which involves students, corporations, landowners, citizens group, and government agencies[25].
    • Land banks. A land bank is a legal tool to hold, manage, and develop tax-foreclosed property. An example of public and private sector collaboration on wetland conservation that use land bank is between Duck Unlimited and the San Juan County Land Bank. The Land Bank and partners are doing conservation by purchasing private land with total area over 157 acres[26].
    • voluntary programs. Voluntary program is one of the best mechanisms of wetland protection to which has a greater extent than legally binding provisions. The most common method used in voluntary program is conservation easement. Some successful conservation voluntary programs that is collaborated between public and private sector cover, among other, Wetland Reserve Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Wetland Program Plans[27].

endah_nia 09:59, 16 April 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ekurniaw (talkcontribs)

States government tools for addressing wetland protection, include but not limited to:

  1. zoning authority
  2. land use definition
  3. benchmarks regulating net gain or loss
  4. State Wetland Conservation Plans[28]
  5. aquisition
  • Local Wetland Protection[29]

Local governments tools for addressing wetland protection, include but are not limited to:

  1. Stakeholder involvement
  2. Local Wetland Strategic Plans
  3. ordinances regarding protection, zoning and development plans
  4. mitigation banking

Yingkeli (talk) 20:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Nowhere near no net loss" (PDF). National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "No Net Loss Policy" (PDF). University of Florida Law. 
  3. ^ "EPA Wetlands Fact Sheet". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Copeland, Claudia. "Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Dahl; et al. "History of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States". US Geological Survey. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Hansen, Leroy. "AREI Chapter 2.3: Wetlands: Status and Trends". USDA Agricultural Research Service. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "History of Federal Involvement in Wetlands" (PDF). THE Ohio State University. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  8. ^ "Federal Wetland Policies and National Trends" (PDF). US Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Heimlich, Ralph. "Wetlands Policy in Clean Water Act" (PDF). 
  10. ^ Blumm, Michael. "The Clinton Wetlands Plan: No Net Gain in Wetlands Protection" (PDF). 
  11. ^ "Clean Water Action Plan". US EPA. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  12. ^ "National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan" (PDF). US EPA. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "DOI Budget FY2011" (PDF). DOI Budget FY2011. DOI. Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Rapanos v. United States". 
  17. ^ "Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook Cty. v. Army Corps of Engineers". 
  18. ^ "1996+migratory+bird+blue+law*wetlands" "1996 migratory bird rule". 
  21. ^ "Lucas v. North Carolina". 
  22. ^ "Food, Agricultural, Conservation and Trade Act". 
  23. ^ "Federal manual" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "5-Stars Restoration Program". 
  26. ^ "Land Bank Purchases Conservation Easement in Beaverton Marsh, San Juan Island". 
  27. ^ [( "State and Tribal Wetland Program Plans"] Check |url= value (help). 
  28. ^ US EPA. "What is a State Wetland Conservation Plan?". What is a State Wetland Conservation Plan?. 
  29. ^ Turner, Marjut; et al. "WATERSHEDSS: Water, Soil and Hydro-Environmental Decision Support System". WATERSHEDSS: Water, Soil and Hydro-Environmental Decision Support System. North Carolina State University. 

Bibliography Links[edit] limited scope of Corpos authority to isolated wetlands"1996+migratory+bird+blue+law*wetlands"
Pirateskot (talk) 18:39, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Pirateskot
Pirateskot (talk) 18:51, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Pirateskot
Pirateskot (talk) 21:25, 30 March 2011 (UTC)pirateskot

Various Links with an Indiana focus[edit]
Pirateskot (talk) 19:09, 3 March 2011 (UTC)Pirateskot

Professor's comments[edit]

You have provided quite a number of good citations. Have you thought about how each will fit into your article? Some seem so technically oriented, that I am not sure you will need them.

I had hoped to see more of an outline at this point in the process. I encourage you to work up an outline as soon as possible so that you will have a direction in which to work.

The focus of the article is to be on policy related to wetlands. What are the laws, regulations, programs and such? Where did they come from? What support is there for the approaches and how well have they worked? What was the origin of the no-net-loss approach?

However, as we discussed in class, you have to understand the science, practices and impacts of the wetlands destruction and preservation before you can understand its regulation. You need a strategy to provide background information on wetlands themselves. That may mean editing and referencing existing materials in Wikipedia, or it may require you to build that material into your site (or a related cross-referenced site).

Try to make some rapid progress on this.

Enviro econ guy (talk) 15:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Peer comments[edit]

Hi, guys. I see you've constructed a very good framework for this policy. But one thing is not clear for me, and I believe it's pretty important to define it. The policy of no net loss wetlands is focusing on the area coverage of wetlands net loss controlling or the ecological functional service of wetlands net loss contrilling. Because in many conditions when wetlands functions have lost by environmental damage the land converages of wetlands are still existing. Thus, technically different approach has different policy based on my understanding. So maybe you guys could specify what's this policy is focusing on in the column of definition. Additionally, you've talked a lot about regulations and policies from the side of command and control, I wonder if there're marked based incentives done by governmnent, NGO, or communities for keeping no loss of wetlands to matching the state policy like no net loss wetlands. I'm looking forward to read your successful article. Rocky.liu (talk) 01:53, 10 April 2011 (UTC)