Friday, June 30, 2023 Background

Statewide Resilience Plan: Protections for Wetlands

by Lily Abromeit

Wetlands like South Carolina’s iconic Carolina Bays are integral for the water we rely on to drink, fish, and recreate in. Wetlands are also essential for flood protection by acting as natural sponges, storing water and allowing for groundwater recharge. Despite all this, the U.S. Supreme Court recently stripped away federal protections for isolated wetlands, and with that decision, gave developers far more leeway to disturb lands previously regulated under the Clean Water Act. 

The Resilience Plan recommends the development of laws and regulations for isolated wetlands, which will be necessary in order to fill the gaps created by this decision. A state framework of protections is urgently needed to help safeguard our wetlands.   

The Conservation League has long challenged ill-conceived projects that threaten wetlands, and we’ll continue to fight for further protections to preserve these valuable natural resources. Our North Coast team has also worked throughout the last year on a Wetlands Working Group that makes scientific-based recommendations about buffer sizes to protect wetlands and maximize their benefits for wildlife, flood management, and water quality. 

Read about other highlights from the plan here.

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