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Water: Wetlands

State, Tribal and Local Initiatives

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States and Tribes play a critical role in the protection and management of our Nation's wetlands. Most States and many Tribes have increased their roles in wetlands protection and management by adopting any of a number of wetlands programs or tools. Components of comprehensive wetlands programs which various States and Tribes have adopted include:

  • assuming the federal Clean Water Act Section 404 permit program or obtaining State Program General Permits from the Corps of Engineers
  • undertaking comprehensive State Wetland Conservation Plans which identify strengths and needs in a state's program, and often develop the framework for a state's wetlands program
  • developing narrative wetland water quality standards
  • applying the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification program
  • adopting non-regulatory programs such as watershed/wetlands planning initiatives, taxation programs, acquisition programs, and others
  • incorporating wetlands considerations into other state water programs.

State/Tribal Wetland Program General Information

  • Enhanced State and Tribal Program (ESTP) Initiative

    The goal of the Enhancing State and Tribal Programs (ESTP) Initiative is to enhance EPA’s delivery of technical and financial support for state and tribal wetlands programs, with the goal of accelerating program development.
    Enhancing State and Tribal Wetland Programs Initiative | PDF Version (5 pp, 102K)

  • State and Tribal Wetland Program Plans

    Wetland Program Plans (WPPs) are voluntary plans developed and implemented by state agencies and tribes which articulate what these entities want to accomplish with their wetland programs over time. WPPs describe overall program goals along with broad-based actions and more specific activities that will help achieve the goals. Please go to EPA's Wetland Program Page to peruse EPA-approved Wetland Program Plans.

  • Analysis of Core Components of State Wetland Programs

    The Environmental Law Institute, with grant funding from the EPA, has conducted a multi-phased study designed to describe and analyze seven components of state wetland programs: state laws, regulations, and programs; monitoring and assessment; restoration programs and activities; water quality standards; public-private partnerships; coordination among state and federal agencies; and education and outreach activities. Each phase of the study examines a cross-section of states representing various approaches to wetland protection and regulation, as well as geographic diversity.

    Phase I report Exit EPA Disclaimer : Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington

    Phase II report Exit EPA Disclaimer : Florida, Hawaii, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin

    Phase III report Exit EPA Disclaimer : Alabama, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming

    Phase IV report Exit EPA Disclaimer : Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi,Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Tennessee

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Financial Assistance

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State/Tribal Regulatory Program


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State/Tribal Watershed Planning

  • State Wetlands Conservation Plans (SWCP) - A State Wetlands Conservation Plan or Strategy (SWCP) gives States a framework to protect, restore and create wetlands. It identifies gaps in wetlands protection programs and opportunities to make programs work better.

  • Tribal Wetland Program Highlights - (EPA843-R-99-002). Eleven case studies are presented which highlight the experiences of tribal organizations and feature varying components of Tribal programs, including tools and strategies currently employed to protect and restore wetlands and watersheds.
  • Increasing Flexibility in Alaska

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Local Initiatives

  • Increasing Local Roles in Wetlands Protection
  • Tools for Local Wetland Efforts
    • Guidance on Developing Local Wetlands Projects - This document outlines brief case studies of three local wetland programs: King County (Seattle), Washington; Dade County (Miami), Florida; and Monroe County (Pocono Mountains), Pennsylvania. It identifies types of wetlands protection programs, the methods of implementation, successes and failures, and recommendations to local governments.
    • Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) Exit EPA Disclaimer - is a "first-stop shop" providing environmental management, planning, and regulatory information for local government elected and appointed officials, managers and staff.
  • Wetlands & the Forestry Community - The Environmental Protection Agency spearheaded the resolution of a long-standing silvicultural issue affecting forested wetlands in the Southeast, by adopting an innovative partnership approach, developed in coordination with forestry industry, environmental community, and State and Federal representatives.
  • Wetlands & the Golf Community - Starting in 1995, the EPA Wetlands Division joined an existing initiative to find common ground between the golf industry and the environmental community, and to advance golf course environmental responsibility.

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State, Tribal, and Local Partners

Links to Web sites outside the U.S. EPA Web site are for the convenience of the user. The Standards of Ethical Conduct do not permit the U.S. EPA to endorse any private sector Web site, product, or service. The U.S. EPA does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at this location. These links are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the EPA Web site.



Tribal American Indian Environmental Office Tribal Contacts


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