Stand up for the Clean Water Act

Small streams and headwaters need the protection of the Clean Water Act, America’s bedrock water program. A new rule is a step toward seeing that they get it.



A new definition of the “Waters of the United States” restores key protections for small streams, headwaters, and wetlands that are critical to a healthy and functioning water system. But it faces continuing opposition in Congress and the courts.

This new definition is based in sound science (and common sense): If we pollute upstream, we put downstream waters at risk.

Millions of miles of streams and millions of acres of wetlands lost Clean Water Act protection under the previous administration. The new rule sees that they’re protected going forward.

We need your help in defending the Clean Water Act.

Join Trout Unlimited in speaking up on behalf of this landmark law, the rivers and streams we care so much about, and the watersheds we are working so hard to conserve.

“We appreciate the EPA’s hard work to get it right on ‘Waters of the U.S.’ We have the Clean Water Act to thank for making our streams and rivers healthy, fishable, and swimmable. This rule is a step in that direction.”

Chris Wood, president & CEO, Trout Unlimited 

How does the Clean Water Act help protect my local waters?

Thanks to the Clean Water Act, we can drink, fish, float, swim, and enjoy our waters. To see that this continues, its protections should cover rivers, streams and wetlands we care so much about, and the watersheds we have worked so hard to conserve. 

Small streams represent 60 percent of all stream miles in the United States and supply drinking water to one third of Americans

Clean water is a lynchpin of an outdoor recreation economy that creates 4.3 million jobs and generates $689 billion in consumer spending annually. What’s more, polling shows that 92 percent of hunters and anglers support clean water protections. 

Healthy headwaters are key to the conservation work TU does in trout and salmon watersheds, and to the valuable fisheries that sustain communities across the nation.  

More on the importance of the Clean Water Act

We’re back on Clean Water Act defense,, March 2023

EPA decision sets the right course for small streams, TU press release, December 2022

On tap: A stronger Clean Water Act, TU vice president for Government Affairs Steve Moyer, December 2021

Federal court declares 2020 rule illegal, TU president and CEO Chris Wood, September 2021

Up to 56% of stream miles would lose protection under the 2020 rule, TU in Freshwater Science, March 2021

Rule Weakens the Nation’s Clean Water Efforts, New York Times, February 2020

Help defend the Clean Water Act, clean water, and healthy fisheries.