Earlier this month, Bayou City Waterkeeper continued its advocacy in support of the 2015 Clean Water Rule and filed an amicus brief urging Galveston-based federal district judge George C. Hanks, Jr. to uphold the rule and its protections for Texas coastal prairie wetlands. These wetlands are found around the greater Galveston-Houston area and give communities across the region a range of irreplaceable benefits valued at billions of dollars: stormwater detention, coastal protection from storm surges, and water filtration for regional bayou networks and Galveston Bay, as well as environments for local wildlife, sport, and recreation.
The Galveston-Houston region has permanently lost significant amounts of these wetlands at a rapid rate to real estate development because of a unique local policy that excludes nearly all wetlands from the protections of the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Rule would correct that policy by clarifying when the Clean Water Act protects Texas coastal prairie wetlands.
But real estate developers who face tighter restrictions under the Clean Water Rule, along with the State of Texas, filed lawsuits in Galveston in 2015 and 2018 to challenge the Rule. While the Court awaits briefing, a temporary injunction is in place preventing the implementation of the Clean Water Rule in Texas, along with Louisiana and Mississippi.
Bayou City Waterkeeper’s amicus brief highlights the special role Texas coastal prairie wetlands play in our region and urges the Court to uphold the Clean Water Rule.
Click here to read our full press release.