Polluting the Mississippi River Basin's Small Streams and Wetlands
Our nation's rivers, streams, and small bodies of water -- which have long been protected by the Clean Water Act -- are now in danger because of a series of misguided court decisions. Recent interpretations of the law suggest that many waters historically protected from pollution can now be polluted or destroyed without a permitting process to limit the environmental impact of discharges into the waters. This October 2008 issue paper discusses the particular danger of this change in interpretation in relation to the problem of nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin. Pollution from the Mississippi contributes to the annual formation of an enormous "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area where the bottom layer of water is so oxygen-depleted that most sea life cannot survive within it. This paper provides recommendations for reaffirming long-standing protections for our nation's waterways, including the wetlands and streams that play an important role in filtering pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.
OVERVIEW & QUICK REFERENCE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1: Nutrient Pollution and Its Effects in the Mississippi River Basin
Chapter 2: Headwaters and Wetlands: Their Function and Prevalence in the Mississippi River Basin
Chapter 3: The Clean Water Act: Its History and Legal Scope
Chapter 4: Recommendations for Restoring Protections Throughout the Mississippi Basin
last revised 10/22/2008
Sign up for NRDC's online newsletter
Water on Switchboard
NRDC experts write about water efficiency, green infrastructure and climate on the NRDC blog.
Recent Water Posts
- Discovering Life along a River of Local and National Importance
- posted by Monty Schmitt, 7/11/14
- Infographic: How Many Myths About the Clean Water Protection Rule Can Fit on a Webpage?
- posted by Jon Devine, 7/8/14
- Cool It: 8 Tips to Handle the Dog Days of Summer in a Warming Climate
- posted by Peter Lehner, 7/1/14
NRDC Gets Top Ratings from the Charity Watchdogs
- Charity Navigator awards NRDC its 4-star top rating.
- Worth magazine named NRDC one of America's 100 best charities.
- NRDC meets the highest standards of the Wise Giving Alliance of the Better Business Bureau.