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EPA Releases Document for Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds

EPA recently released a new technical document entitled, “Identifying and Protecting Healthy Watersheds: Concepts, Assessments, and Management Approaches.” This document provides state water quality and aquatic resource scientists and managers with an overview of the key concepts behind the Healthy Watersheds Initiative. The initiative is intended to preserve and maintain natural ecosystems by protecting remaining healthy watersheds – thereby preventing them from becoming impaired and accelerating restoration successes. The initiative encourages states to take a strategic, systems approach to protecting healthy watersheds and preventing future water quality impairments.

This document provides examples of approaches for assessing components of healthy watersheds, integrated assessment options for identifying healthy watersheds, examples of management approaches and assessment tools and sources of data. The document is available at http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/nps/watershed/index.cfm.