By Cariad Hayes Thronson

Despite an official California policy in place since 1992 that calls for “no net loss” of wetlands, the lack of a specific wetlands definition has led to the loss of many thousands of acres of ecologically important lands. That could change soon, thanks to an update from the State Water Resources Control Board expected out soon after more than a decade of work. California environmentalists are optimistic that the updated policy, titled “State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State,” will move quickly toward adoption by the state board in early 2019. The Trump administration’s rollback of the Waters of the U.S. rule could leave state policy as the only protection for California’s remaining wetlands.

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State Could Step Up

By Cariad Hayes Thronson

Despite an official California policy in place since 1992 that calls for “no net loss” of wetlands, the lack of a specific wetlands definition has led to the loss of many thousands of acres of ecologically important lands. That could change soon, thanks to an update from the State Water Resources Control Board expected out soon after more than a decade of work. California environmentalists are optimistic that the updated policy, titled “State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State,” will move quickly toward adoption by the state board in early 2019. The Trump administration’s rollback of the Waters of the U.S. rule could leave state policy as the only protection for California’s remaining wetlands.

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About the author

Cariad Hayes Thronson covers legal and political issues for Estuary News. She has served on the staffs of several national publications, including The American Lawyer. She is a long-time contributor to Estuary News, and some years ago served as its assistant editor. She lives in San Mateo with her husband and two children.

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