This June, a fateful decision echoed through North Carolina’s House of Representatives. This set the stage for an environmental crisis with far-reaching ramifications. NC lawmakers chose to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of the Farm Act (SB 582). Lawmakers have opened the door for the devastation of invaluable wetlands.
The Farm Act:
- weakens clean water laws
- strips protections from millions of acres of wetlands
- will make flooding worse
- negatively impacts water quality
- compromises the wellbeing of residents
We must not underestimate the Farm Act’s far-reaching implications for wetlands.
It’s a rollback of clean water protections. North Carolina wetlands span 2.5 million acres and half of the state’s territory. They’re critical for maintaining ecological balance. They’re vibrant ecosystems that house an astonishing array of flora and fauna. Additionally, these wetlands act as natural buffers against extreme weather events. They defend against floods and storms that could wreak havoc on communities.
Many environmental advocates have spoken out. Among them is the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV). They consider this a grave misstep and a breach of environmental responsibility. Elected officials must recognize the consequences of their choices. They must safeguard the state’s invaluable natural resources.
This decision mirrors the recent Supreme Court ruling in Sackett v EPA. The Supreme Court ruling eroded Clean Water Act safeguards for so many wetlands. The decision limits protections to certain waterways. But all wetlands provide critical habitat and ecosystem services. This new decision makes many wetlands vulnerable to destruction and pollution.
Wetlands are our allies in the fight against climate change.
Wetlands control flooding, purify our water and provide wildlife habitat. These ecosystems are key to building resilience. The Farm Act favors the interests of developers and builders. This is at the expense of long-term environmental health and public wellbeing. This steers us in the wrong direction.
Yet, amidst the challenge, hope persists. This is an opportunity for North Carolinians to unite and challenge the Farm Act. We can work together to advocate for the welfare of our communities and generations to come. What this legislation has done can be undone. Our legislators must enact policies that safeguard our natural heritage.
We must remain vigilant against other environmental threats. One such threat is the “Regulatory Reform Act” (HB 600). This bill would weaken environmental protections and increase pollution. The consequences would be dire. This bill would harm water quality and public health.
The time for action is now. Let us stand together as responsible stewards of North Carolina’s environment. We must demand a future that preserves our natural treasures. We must ensure NC wetlands remain a source of pride and protection for generations to come.