There is established, as part of the Corps of Engineers water resources development program, an interim goal of no overall net loss of the Nation’s remaining wetlands base, as defined by acreage and function, and a long-term goal to increase the quality and quantity of the Nation’s wetlands, as defined by acreage and function.
The Secretary shall utilize all appropriate authorities, including those to restore and create wetlands, in meeting the interim and long-term goals.
The Secretary shall develop, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and other appropriate Federal agencies, a wetlands action plan to achieve the goals established by this subsection as soon as possible.
The plan shall include and identify actions to be taken by the Secretary in achieving the goals and any new authorities which may be necessary to accelerate attainment of the goals.
The Secretary shall complete the plan not later than 1 year after November 28, 1990.
The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator, is authorized to establish and implement a demonstration program for the purpose of determining the feasibility of wetlands restoration, enhancement, and creation as a means of contributing to the goals established by subsection (a).
The goal of the program under this subsection shall be to establish a limited number of demonstration wetlands restoration, enhancement, and creation areas in districts of the Corps of Engineers for the purpose of evaluating the technical and scientific long-term feasibility of such areas as a means of contributing to the attainment of the goals established by subsection (a). Federal and State land-owning agencies and private parties may contribute to such areas.
The district engineer for each district of the Corps of Engineers in which a wetlands restoration, enhancement, and creation area is established under this subsection shall transmit annual reports to the Chief of Engineers describing the amount and value of wetlands restored, enhanced, and created for the area and a summary of whether the area is contributing to the goal established in paragraph (2).
Not later than 3 years after November 28, 1990, the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report evaluating the use of wetlands restoration, enhancement, and creation areas in fulfilling the goal established by paragraph (2), together with recommendations on whether or not to continue use of such areas as a means of meeting the goals established by subsection (a).
Nothing in this subsection affects any requirements under section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344) or section 403 of this title.
The Secretary is authorized to establish a program for the training and certification of individuals as wetlands delineators. As part of such program, the Secretary shall carry out demonstration projects in districts of the Corps of Engineers. The program shall include training and certification of delineators and procedures for expediting consideration and acceptance of delineations performed by certified delineators.
The Secretary shall transmit to Congress periodic reports concerning the status of the program and any recommendations on improving the content and implementation of the Federal Manual for Identifying and Delineating Jurisdictional Wetlands.