I Want to Be an Army Rearranger
Measures designed to protect the remaining wetlands in the U.S. could be substantially weakened by a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers policy, environmentalists and federal officials warn. A recent Corps letter outlines a retreat from a decade-old policy, instituted under George Bush the Elder, stating that the country’s total amount of wetlands cannot decrease. Under that policy, developers who destroy wetlands must offset the loss by restoring or creating wetlands elsewhere. By contrast, the new Corps policy would allow builders to fill in wetlands and offset losses by preserving dry land that helps preserve remaining wetlands or by boosting protection of the remaining wetlands. Either approach could result in a net loss of wetlands.