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Lawyers, Swamps, and Money:

U.S. Wetland Law, Policy, and Politics
Table of

Lawyers, Swamps, and Money is an accessible, engaging guide to the complex set of laws governing America's wetlands. After explaining the importance of these critical natural areas, the book examines the evolution of federal law, principally the Clean Water Act, designed to protect them.

Readers will first learn the basics of administrative law: how agencies receive and exercise their authority, how they actually make laws, and how stakeholders can influence their behavior through the Executive Branch, Congress, the courts, and the media. These core concepts provide a base of knowledge for successive discussions of:

  • the geographic scope and activities covered by the Clean Water Act

  • the curious relationship between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency

  • the goal of no net loss of wetlands

  • the role of entrepreneurial wetland mitigation banking

  • the tension between wetland mitigation bankers and in-lieu fee mitigation programs

  • wetland regulation and private property rights.

The book concludes with insightful policy recommendations to make wetlands law less ambiguous and more effective.
A prominent legal scholar and wetlands expert, professor Royal C. Gardner has a rare knack for describing landmark cases and key statutes with uncommon clarity and even humor. Students of environmental law and policy and natural resource professionals will gain the thorough understanding of administrative law needed to navigate wetlands policy-and they may even enjoy it.

Chapter 1. The Ebb and Flow of Public Perceptions of Wetlands
Chapter 2. Administrative Law: The Short Course
Chapter 3. What's a Wetland (For Purposes of Clean Water Act Jurisdiction)?
Chapter 4. Dredge and Fill: The Importance of Precise Definitions
Chapter 5. Strange Bedfellows: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers
Chapter 6. No Net Loss: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Chapter 7. Wetland Mitigation Banking: Banking on Entrepreneurs
Chapter 8. In-Lieu Fee Mitigation: Money for Nothing?
Chapter 9. Leveling the Mitigation Playing Field
Chapter 10. Wetland Enforcement: The Ultimate Discretionary Act
Chapter 11. Regulatory Takings in the Wetland Context
Chapter 12. Concluding Thoughts and Recommendations
Epilogue: Where Are They Now?
Selected References and Further Reading
"In conclusion, Lawyers, Swamps, and Money is both comprehensive and complete. Professor Gardner brings to bear his considerable experience in wetland law to create a book that is both concise and refreshing in its treatment of the issues at hand. Throughout the book, Gardner's humor adds a pleasant touch that keeps the reader turning the pages. In the end, the reader is left with a strong impression that wetland policy is in need of change; just how to implement that change in the face of economic and environmental pressures is the intellectual challenge. In short, this book is a must read for anyone interested in learning about or hoping to change wetland policy in the United States."
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