Regulating Wetlands Protection

Environmental Federalism and the States

By Ronald Keith Gaddie & James L. Regens

Subjects: Environmental Politics
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Politics and Policy
Paperback : 9780791443507, 155 pages, November 1999
Hardcover : 9780791443491, 155 pages, November 1999

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Table of contents



Chapter 1: Wetlands, Federalism, and the Implementation Problem

Chapter 2: Wetlands in the United States

Chapter 3: Wetlands Protection and Section 404

Chapter 4: Two Tales of Assumption: Michigan and New Jersey

Chapter 5: Two Divergent Paths: Florida and Maryland

Chapter 6: Other Perspectives on State Assumption

Chapter 7: Wetlands Regulation and Implementation Problems



Wetlands are a valuable natural resource, yet over 200,000 acres are destroyed in the United States per year. This book examines whether states should assume the role of protecting wetlands rather than the federal government.


Wetlands are a valuable natural resource, yet over 200,000 acres are destroyed in the United States each year. An alternative recently promoted to improve wetland protection is state assumption of the law governing wetland protection, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (section 404). This book discusses the implementation problems associated with the national wetland regulation program and examines the state assumption option in twelve states, with extended case studies of Florida, Maryland, Michigan, and New Jersey.

Ronald Keith Gaddie is Associate Professor of Political Science at The University of Oklahoma. James L. Regens is Freeport-McMoRan Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of Entergy Spatial Analysis Research Laboratory at Tulane University Medical Center. They are coauthors of The Economic Realities of Political Reform: Elections and the U. S. Senate.


"…a comprehensive treatment to an important subject and provides an analysis that is both insightful and useful. This book is unquestionably a positive addition to the literature on environmental policy. " — Reviewed by Stanley M. Caress, State University of West Georgia

"The authors have taken two important topics that are very much in the scholarly and environmental literature—wetlands protection and regulatory federalism—and combined them in a fresh approach. I enjoyed reading their descriptions of the cases, and I gained a new appreciation for the state-level view of wetlands protection and the politics of implementing the Section 404 permitting program. " — Denise Scheberle, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay

"This book serves to emphasize the inherent complexity of environmental policy implementation and the potential difficulties of attempting to devolve regulatory functions from federal to state authorities. Indeed, the reluctance of many states to take the 'assumption' option offered by the federal government in this program area is one of the most interesting components of the analysis. " — Barry Rabe, University of Michigan