United StatM
              Environmental Protection
                                    Office of Water (WH-556F).
                                    Office of Wetlands, Oceans,
                                    and Watersheds (A-104 F)
March 1993
              What is  a State  Wetland
              Conservation Plan?
      A new tool that States are using to pro-
tect wetlands is the State Wetland Conservation
Plan (SWCP). A State Wetland Conservation
Plan is not meant to create a new level of bureau-
cracy.  Instead,  it improves government and
private sector effectiveness and efficiency by
identifying gaps in wetland protection programs
and finding opportunities to make wetlands
programs workmen better.

  SWCP's are strategies for States to
  achieve no net loss and other wetland
  management goats by integrating both
  regulatory and cooperative approaches
  to protecting wetlands.

      A large number of land and water-based
activities impact wetlands. These activities are
not addressed by any single Federal, State or
local agency program. While many public and
private programs and activities protect wet-
lands, these programs are often limited in scope
and not well coordinated.  Neither do these
programs address all of the problems affecting

      States are well positioned between Fed-
eral and local government to take the lead in
integrating and expanding wetland protection
and management programs. They are experi-
enced in managing Federally mandated envi-
ronmental programs under the Clean Water Act
and the Coastal Zone Management Act. They
are uniquely equipped to help resolve local and
regional conflicts and identify the local eco-
nomic and geographic factors that may influ-
ence wetlands protection.
                                          What arp Static
                                          VVIiai are States
                                             Currently, nineteen States are at various
                                       stages of developing an SWCP and have re-
                                       ceived financial assistance from EPA.

                                        Michigan's SWCP will focus primarily on
                                       non-regulatory aspects of wetlands manage-
                                       ment to complement their regulatory programs.
                                       Initiatives will be developed for wetland water
                                       quality, reclamation of valuable wetland func-
                                       tions, coordination of existing wetland protec-
                                       tion and management efforts, and wetland edu-
                                       cation and outreach.

                                        California plans through its SWCP to inven-
                                       tory its wetlands, identify crucial wetlands, de-
                                       velop a statewide strategy to plan wetlands
                                       protection and restoration, and take a crucial
                                       role in overall wetland regulation.

                                        New York will work towards a "no net loss/
                                       net gain" goal under its SWCP. Because one
                                       purpose of an SWCP is to integrate wetlands
                                       protection into other programs, wetland issues
                                       and references to the  SWCP have been inte-
                                       grated into several State programs.

                                       Other States working on SWCFs include: MO,
                                       TN, DE, N], ND, OH, OK, OR, TX, AL, AR, IL,
   Seethe Statewide Wetlands Strategies guidebook, which te available from Island Press
   Call the EPA Wetlands Hotline* at 1-800-832-7828.
   Askfor copies of theSWCP brochure "Why Develop a State Wettand Conservation Plan?"
  from the hotline*.