(May 5, 2021) Last week Governor Holcomb signed Senate Bill 389 into law, stripping protections for over 400,000 acres of Indiana’s wetlands. Today, Marnie Urso, Senior Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes issued the following statement in response to this rollback of wetlands protections.
Despite overwhelming opposition by scientists, concerned citizens and the conservation community, state lawmakers rolled back protections for over 400,000 acres of wetlands in Indiana with the passage of SB 389.
Indiana ranks fourth among states with the greatest loss of wetlands with 85 percent of its original wetlands already gone. Wetlands provide critical wetland habitat for birds and wildlife like the Black Tern, Marsh Wren, Least Bittern, and Pied-billed Grebe.
Audubon is disappointed by this rollback of wetland protections, but is grateful to members who raised their voice and spoke out against SB 389. This advocacy and engagement helped protect roughly 200,000 wetland acres that were initially on the chopping block and resulted in the creation of the Indiana Wetlands Task Force, which will work to improve Indiana’s wetland permitting program and develop wetland preservation strategies. It’s imperative that decision makers heed the recommendations of the Task Force to protect the future of Indiana’s birds and wildlife and outdoor recreation economy.
Audubon Great Lakes looks forward to working with Indiana’s elected officials to find the best path forward to protect and enhance Indiana’s natural heritage for the sake of the wildlife and communities who depend on it.”
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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