INDIANA (November 18, 2022) – Recently, the Indiana Wetlands Task Force, which was charged with examining wetlands issues in Indiana and recommending preservation strategies and legislative solutions, released their final report. The Task Force was established last year as part of Senate Enrolled Act 389 following public outcry over the legislation, which rolled back protections for more than 400,000 acres of wetlands in Indiana.
Brian Vigue, Policy Director of Freshwater for Audubon Great Lakes, issued the following statement on the report’s findings, and is available for public comment.
“With the release of their Final Report, the diverse group of experts and stakeholders that comprise the Indiana Wetlands Taskforce have agreed – loss of wetlands is negatively impacting Indiana residents, and we need to do more to protect this important natural resource.
“When we lose wetlands, we lose the natural benefits they provide including wildlife habitat, protecting local communities from flooding and drought, and keeping both groundwater and water in inland lakes and streams clean. We can see this play out in Indiana, where massive losses of wetlands – up to 85 percent – have forced birds like the Black Tern and Yellow-headed Blackbird to flee the state.
“As severe rainfall and flooding are only expected to increase due to climate change, the Final Report has made it clear that we need to stop the loss of existing wetlands while restoring and replacing wetlands that have been lost. Our restoration work in Indiana shows that it is not too late to restore Indiana’s important habitats for the benefit of wildlife and people alike.
“Hoosiers who rely on and enjoy the state’s natural resources have also expressed their concerns. We are pleased to see that the report included findings from an Indiana state-wide poll, which Audubon Great Lakes released earlier this year, which found that Indiana residents across the political spectrum overwhelmingly support wetlands protections. Now it is up to Indiana’s legislators and decision makers to listen to the concerns of leading experts and residents by strengthening wetlands protections in the state, not weakening them.”
About Audubon Great Lakes
Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at gl.audubon.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 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.
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