Chapter

United States Wetland Regulation and Policy

D. Eric Somerville and Bruce A. Pruitt

in Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780520247772
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932890 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247772.003.0009
United States Wetland Regulation and Policy

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Wetland regulation and policy in the United States is dictated by an amalgam of statute, regulation, judicial decisions, administrative policy, and public sentiment that has changed many times over the decades and continues to evolve even today. The laws passed by Congress from approximately 1965 to 1985 remain the foundation for most environmental regulation in the United States. However, the implementation of these statutes and the programs they authorized continues to evolve, due largely to new judicial interpretations but influenced also by the prevailing public and congressional sentiment of the times. This chapter traces the evolution of contemporary federal wetland regulation and policy in the United States. While the emphasis is on national legislation, initiatives, and policies, many states have also adopted local regulatory policies or programs that in many cases provide even greater protection of wetland resources. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of wetland functional assessment and its role in the regulatory process, focusing on the hydrogeomorphic approach.

Keywords: United States; wetlands; regulation; policy; laws; statutes; functional assessment; hydrogeomorphic approach

Chapter.  15711 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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