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Where Does the Water Actually Begin? Whatever "Floats Your Boat?"

The US Supreme Court recently ruled in Sackett vs the EPA that water begins where you can float a boat.

Really? Yes, really.

We who love the water know very well that water begins much farther upstream than that.

We know that marshlands and ephemeral streams are vital to the health of flowing water, long upriver from where you actually can float a boat, and that those areas are where the best efforts to clean up the Bay occur.

But the Sackett ruling prevents the EPA from governing those most important elements at the headwaters of our rivers. For the first time in the long history of SCOTUS decisions on water quality issues, this decision has no basis in science. It appears the Justices just made up the "floats your boat," criterion, which now leaves many, many more questions than answers.

The best explanation of the decision and its implications for our region is in a webinar produced last month by the Chesapeake Legal Alliance. It should be must see viewing for everyone committed to a cleaner Bay and the rivers that feed it. You can view the webinar at:

The Growth Action Network (GAN) supports the Chesapeake Legal Alliance and the thousands of hours of pro bono attorney and legal advice services that they provide to all of us who are committed to a better Bay. Consider donating to CLA so they can continue to produce educational programs and provide pro bono support on matters of importance to a cleaner environment.


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