HB 1383 Signed into Law, Further Eroding Wetlands Protections in Indiana

Attributable to Policy Director of Freshwater for Audubon Great Lakes, Brian Vigue

“Last year, the Indiana Wetlands Taskforce, a group of experts and stakeholders, issued a report that emphasized the need to do more to protect Indiana's wetlands. This week, HB 1383 was signed into law – leaving more of Indiana’s wetlands out to dry.  

Indiana ranks fourth among states with the greatest loss of wetlands. HB 1383 will further reduce the number of wetlands that are protected in the state by changing the definition of Class III wetlands, the most ecologically important wetlands. 

We’re disappointed by this rollback of wetlands protections, but grateful to the thousands of concerned Audubon members and Hoosiers who spoke out against HB 1383 as it was fast-tracked through the legislature. This overwhelming opposition raised critical awareness among lawmakers of the benefits wetlands provide. When it came up for a vote, HB 1383 received more no votes than any other piece of legislation on the Senate floor – a testament to the power of Hoosier voices.  

We’re not surprised by public outcry. Hoosiers have been clear that they care about wetlands protections. Polling shows that 94 percent of Indiana voters believe that state leaders should either strengthen or maintain Indiana's current wetlands protections. 

Big and small, wetlands help to alleviate flooding and play an important role in water filtration. They provide vital habitat for vulnerable marsh birds, and they support Indiana's outdoor recreation economy, which generates more than $15 billion in consumer spending a year.      

Indiana’s wetlands are important to the health and future of Indiana wildlife and communities, and we need policies that protect them. HB 1383 is a step in the wrong direction. We will continue our work to protect Indiana’s wetlands, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to achieve comprehensive wetland policy that is good for all Hoosiers." 


About Audubon Great Lakes 

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at 

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