ASWM Supports the Wetlandkeepers & Protects the Nation's Wetlands & Water Resources. As a part of broader watersheds, wetlands play the role of connecting our streams, rivers and lakes to farmlands, forests and the ocean. In the face of rapid population growth, it is essential to protect and manage valuable wetlands that enhance the well-being of human and natural communities. Who protects wetlands? Wetlandkeepers wear a variety of hats—from wetland scientists to environmental regulators. They work in state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations including academic and conservation entities, as well as private nongovernmental and green business partners. The Association of State Wetland Managers has embarked on an ambitious campaign to promote and enhance its ability to support wetlandkeepers nationwide and to advocate for sound wetland science in public policy. ASWM has a goal of raising $500,000.00 to build capacity in three core program areas: wetland programs, climate change and protecting watersheds. Established as a nonprofit organization in 1983, ASWM has played a leadership role among wetland professionals on state, federal, national and regional levels for over 25 years. ASWM fosters a wetland ethic and works collaboratively with a number of partners to achieve real goals in wetland science, natural resource protections and management, and public policy as it applies to state and federal wetland programs.
<br>2012 is the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. It is ironic that wetlands are against the ropes. The pressures facing our nation’s wetlands include suburban sprawl, run-off from our streets into our watersheds and subsequent “dead zones,” poor development practices, such as building houses in floodplains and coastal wetlands despite the scientific consensus on sea level rise and the role of wetlands in floodplains management. Current confusion over Clean Water Act jurisdiction and political pressure to lessen Farm Bill 2012 funding for wetlands conservation are further threats. Economic pressures draw attention away from state environmental agencies and push the federal government toward funding other areas. In addition, balancing public water concerns and property rights management with protecting wetland and water resources is an important goal of ASWM's outreach & education. ASWM works closely with states, tribes, the federal government, local wetland programs and individuals to enhance communications with the public about the value of wetlands. In the past, ASWM has depended on federal grants to support its efforts at the minimum. Now the Association must build capacity to strengthen its foothold on the fight against climate change—and its impending impacts on our wetlands and water resources. At the forefront of wetland science and policy developments, ASWM is uniquely positioned to support wetlandkeepers.
<br>Building Capacity to Protect the Nation's Wetlands To meet the challenges facing the nation’s wetlands, ASWM strategically lays the groundwork to support wetlandkeepers nationwide. The Association of State Wetland Managers fosters a wetland ethic—a legacy to benefit the wetlandkeepers of today as well as the wetlandkeepers of tomorrow, who protect wetlands for future generations. We bridge the gaps between science and policy, state and federal, local and large-scale wetland protections. Many organizations look to ASWM as a leader at the intersection between the think-tanks and the decision-makers, the on-the-ground regulators and wetland consultants. Funds raised by this campaign will allow ASWM to champion wetland programs and the unsung protectors of wetlands and water resources. This campaign represents ASWM's first large-scale and long-term fundraising effort to raise $500,000 for three core program areas. We need extraordinary support to build ASWM’s capacity to protect the nation’s wetlands.