Trump Administration Rule Could Worsen Flooding by Removing Protections for Our Wetlands

By Jordan Macha and Kristen Schlemmer, Bayou City Waterkeeper

Houston Chronicle, Jan. 29. 2020

By removing protections to local wetlands under the Clean Water Act, the Trump administration’s new Waters of the United States rule exposes our region to new flood risks.

Throughout the Houston metro area and out to the coast, wetlands play a key role in protecting against floods, while also providing wildlife habitat and filtering surface water that makes its way into the city’s drinking water supplies. With Texas made up of mostly privately-owned land, rules to protect these natural landscapes, and the benefits they offer to the public, matter.

The change poses the greatest threat to the eastern parts of our region, where relatively pristine expanses of wetlands remain intact — including around Trinity Bay, the San Jacinto River’s East and West forks and Cedar Bayou. As the Grand Parkway continues to be built out to the east of Houston into Liberty County, these wetland-dense areas will be especially vulnerable to rapid development, particularly under the administration’s new rule, which amounts to a rollback. Without any other rules to place common-sense limits on this development, these remaining wetlands may be lost.

Read the rest of this article in the Houston Chronicle.

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