Indiana Legislature passes law that rolls back wetland protections, Governor Holcomb should veto HB 1383

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

“Two years ago, lawmakers rolled back protections for more than half of Indiana’s wetlands. Yesterday, the Indiana Legislature passed a bill that could leave more vital wetlands out to dry.

Despite its fast track through the legislature, HB 1383 has faced growing opposition from Hoosiers and conservation groups. Yesterday’s Senate vote demonstrated a lack of consensus among lawmakers. Governor Holcomb can protect Indiana’s natural resources by vetoing this problematic bill.

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

Indiana's wetlands are important to the health and future of Indiana wildlife and communities. 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. Additionally, polling shows that 94 percent of Indiana voters believe that state leaders should either strengthen or maintain Indiana's current wetlands protections.    

Protecting Indiana's hardworking wetlands will protect the future of our state. Wetlands help to alleviate flooding and play an important role in water filtration. They provide vital habitat for vulnerable marsh birds. Wetlands also support Indiana's outdoor recreation economy, which generates more than $15 billion in consumer spending a year.    

We urge Governor Holcomb to veto HB 1383 and work to bring all stakeholders together to produce comprehensive wetland policy.”


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

How you can help, right now