Clean Water Protections Essential for Healthy Fish, Wildlife and Communities

TU Responds to Executive Order to roll back clean water protections

What Happened: On February 28th, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at rolling back protections for headwater streams, directing his Administration to abandon the Clean Water Rule and apply a new, significantly more narrow approach to protecting our waters.

Why This Matters for Trout Unlimited: America’s headwaters are the genesis of our country’s iconic rivers. The Clean Water Act — and the clean water Rule — were designed to ensure that our nation’s small waters remain intact, and that the water flowing from them is fresh and clean. These waters are the spawning and rearing waters for trout, salmon and other wild and native fish that contribute greatly to the $50 billion recreational fishing industry in the United States. What’s more, these streams send clean water downstream, where it’s used to water our crops, cool our industrial generators and provide clean, fresh drinking water for our cities and towns.

TU’s Response:

What’s Next and What Can You Do:

In order to officially repeal the Rule, the EPA will be required to conduct a new, formal rulemaking process (click here to read the notice of intent to initiate a new rulemaking process), including public notice and opportunity for comment. Because the Clean Water Rule was developed based upon a substantial body of scientific information and public input, the Administration will need to develop a new administrative record that supports their reversal (as well as any potential replacement or revision) of the Rule. Trout Unlimited will be an active participant in this process, working with volunteers, staff and partners to provide information to the record and to ensure our concerns are heard during the administrative process.

In addition to engaging in the rulemaking process, TU will continue to advocate against further cuts or rollbacks to programs that protect trout and salmon habitat. For opportunities to get involved, please check out the following:

Take Action: Stand Up For Clean Water

Write a letter to President Trump and to your Congressional delegation, letting them know how important clean water and healthy watersheds are to sportsmen and women.

Take Action: Stand Up for Conservation Programs and Resource Agencies

Debate on the Fiscal Year 2018 federal budget is currently underway in D.C., and we urge you to contact the President and your members in Congress to tell them that adequate funding for the federal natural resource agencies is vital to the conservation work of Trout Unlimited and to sound management of the nation’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.

Many of the natural resource agency budgets have been eroding over the past 15 years, and some in Congress are vowing to make steep cuts to federal agencies. President Trump has announced plans for deep cuts to agencies and programs that are vital to keep our public lands and waters healthy.

It is important to let decision-makers hear your support for adequate federal funding at the beginning of the budget process.

Reach out — get in touch and get engaged

  • Contact your local chapter to help plan or join a restoration project in a watershed near you, reach out to your state council to find out ways you might engage with state-level advocacy on topics important to trout and salmon, or reach out to TU Volunteer Operations Staff for help connecting with your local or state TU resources or locating other tools to help you engage locally;
  • Check out TU’s new “Project Finder” to see what might be underway in your area.
  • Contact the TU Government Affairs team to see what’s cooking in Congress or in the Budget planning process.

Stand Up — Take Action with TU

  • Check out TU’s Advocacy Center at to see what current campaigns are underway or to learn more about getting involved in advocacy work on behalf of Trout Unlimited.

Consider a Donation to TU Advocacy Efforts

Further Information on Clean Water Protections:

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