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Healthy wetlands are an essential part of protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. Wetlands provide a safe habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife, and play a vital part in maintaining the health of the Great Lakes. Healthy wetlands act as a natural buffer for rivers and streams, improving water quality by filtering polluted runoff from farm fields and city streets.
Activities supported by wetlands such as fishing, hunting and wildlife-watching generate more than $50 billion annually and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unfortunately, more than 66 percent of the Great Lakes’ original wetlands have been filled in or destroyed. And currently, 90 percent of existing wetlands is at risk.
Congress can help protect the Great Lakes natural habitat by passing the Clean Water Restoration Act, which returns protections to waters of the United States that had been covered by the Clean Water Act for more than 35 years.