Stand up for the Clean Water Act

Small streams, headwaters, and wetlands need the protection of the Clean Water Act,
America’s bedrock water program.


The Waters of the U.S. Rule under the Clean Water Act protects small streams, headwaters, and wetlands that are critical to a healthy and functioning water system. But the Supreme Court sharply limited its applicability to adjacent wetlands.

This ruling lacks common sense: If we pollute upstream, we put downstream waters at risk.

Millions of acres of wetlands could lose Clean Water Act protection under this ruling. How the EPA responds will be critical for maintaining protections for the small streams and headwaters critical to the heathy watersheds that provide clean drinking waters, flood mitigation, fish habitat, and water for agriculture.

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.

“It is critical that the Biden administration continue advocating for a ‘Waters of the U.S.’ definition that is rooted in science and ensures protection of the small streams and wetlands that provide clean water for people, communities, businesses, farmers, and fish and wildlife.”

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.