Press Release Jul 26, 2023

Great Lakes National Park Expert Joins Congressional Roundtable, Discusses Harmful Impacts of Waters of the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

“Congress must move swiftly to permanently protect our nation’s waters for drinking, recreating and our Tribal way-of-life.” --NPCA's Kira Davis

Washington, DC - Today, National Parks Conservation Association’s Kira Davis will join Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) to participate in a Democratic roundtable titled, “Murky Waters: Navigating a Post-Sackett World.” During this discussion, members of Congress will hear a range of perspectives about the potential impacts on water quality, human and environmental health, and local economies of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett v. EPA decision, which narrowed the historic scope and protections of the Clean Water Act.

For more information and to watch the livestream, please go here.

Background: The National Parks Conservation Association joined partners at American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Izaak Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited and filed an amicus brief in the Sackett case arguing for stronger water protections for people, our national parks and the prized wildlife that live there.

Representing millions of national park advocates, anglers, hunters and outdoor recreationists, our groups argued that wetlands with a significant connection to our waters must be included in Clean Water Act protections. Together, NPCA and our partners, showed that narrowing the coverage of the Clean Water Act would have devastating effects on national parks, wetlands, rivers and streams, fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for the millions of people that enjoy our public lands and the outdoors.

Statement by Kira Davis: Senior Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, Co-Chair for the Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, and Tribal Member Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa Chippewa Indians

“Healthy rivers, streams and waterways are integral to the health of America’s national parks, Tribal lands and our Great Lakes. The loss of Clean Water Act protections by the Supreme Court’s shortsighted (Sackett vs. EPA) decision will have devastating impacts to all our national parks and especially in the Great Lakes region where freshwater is our lifeblood here. These waters are directly linked to Tribal communities’ cultural identity and generations-long traditions, which are now in jeopardy. Healthy waters support our local economies, our livelihoods and the plants and wildlife in our parks and Tribal landscapes.

“At Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 190 miles of smaller streams and 1,700 acres of wetlands that make up the Cuyahoga River, a waterway that once caught fire from pollution flowing through it, could lose protection. It has taken us more than 50 years to get the river swimmable and fishable again, and millions of dollars investing from several federal agencies to restore the river, recognizing its irreplaceable value. And now our decades-long progress is in jeopardy.

“Pinhook and Cowles Bogs in Indiana Dunes National Park, one of the most biodiverse parks in the country, is now more vulnerable to upstream industrial pollution. An estimated 86% of wetlands within just one of the park’s watersheds lost Clean Water Act protections. Nearly 70% of the park’s waters are already impaired from pollution outside of its boundaries and it will only get worse with this decision.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to share my many concerns here today with our congressional clean water champions. Congress must move swiftly to permanently protect our nation’s waters for drinking, recreating and our Tribal way of life.”


About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.6 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit