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Florida Waterways Included In New Federal Protections

The St. Johns River. Photo courtesy the University of North Florida.


Nearly a third of Florida’s streams will gain federal protection under new rules aimed at smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands.

The rules clarify which of the waterways are protected under the Clean Water Act.

The confusion stems from two Supreme Court rulings, which had left the law’s reach uncertain.

Jennifer Rubiello of Environment Florida says the protection is important because major waterways like the St. Johns River are only as healthy as their tributaries.

“The streams that gain protection today supply the drinking water for nearly 2 million Floridians, many of which are in Central Florida.”

The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the rules.

Farm groups and the Republican-led Congress are opposing them. They say the rules amount to overreach.


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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »

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