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Freshwater & Oceans

ELI’s Wetlands Program

The Environmental Law Institute’s Wetlands Program provides professionals and the public with timely, balanced information on wetlands law, policy, science, and management in order to prevent wetland losses and achieve an overall gain of wetlands across the United States. The Wetlands Program has three major areas of focus:

Featured Areas of Expertise and Resources:
  • Education and Outreach to promote the best in wetlands protection.

    • National Wetlands Newsletter: The National Wetlands Newsletter provides key information and analysis to people engaged in protection and management of wetlands, watersheds, floodplains, and coastal resources.

    • National Wetlands Awards: The National Wetlands Awards honor people who have contributed in an extraordinary way, through science, education, land stewardship, land development, or program development, to the conservation of the nation’s wetlands resources.

    • Wetland and Stream Mitigation: A Handbook for Land Trusts: Developed in partnership with the Land Trust Alliance, this ELI resource was designed to provide land trusts with the tools they need to navigate the federal wetland and stream compensatory mitigation program and evaluate their engagement in the program.

  • Convening Experts and Stakeholders to develop and identify model approaches:

  • Research and Policy Analysis on cutting edge issues.

    • Clean Water Act Jurisdiction: ELI works to support protection for wetlands and waters no longer protected by the federal Clean Water Act in the wake of two pivotal Supreme Court decisions.
    • Compensatory Mitigation Research: ELI is the leading research institution to evaluate compensatory mitigation required to offset adverse impacts to wetlands. ELI has conducted multiple studies of all compensatory mitigation mechanisms, including mitigation banking, in-lieu fee mitigation, and permittee-responsible mitigation, and done foundational work on the magnitude of compensatory mitigation and new approaches to improve its effectiveness.

    • State Wetland Programs: ELI’s fifty-state wetland program study was designed to inform and advance state wetland protection by providing information on state program regulatory and non-regulatory tools and activities.

    • Wetlands Research and Policy Analysis: ELI’s groundbreaking research on wetlands law and policy continues to examine federal and state protections for aquatic resources, including developments in federal Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction and tools for local wetlands protection.