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Water: Outreach & Communication

Watershed Protection: A Project Focus

United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Water
EPA 841-R-95-004
August 1995

The Watershed Protection Approach is a strategy for effectively protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems and protecting human health. This strategy has as its premise that many water quality and ecosystem problems are best solved at the watershed level rather than at the individual water body or discharger level. The EPA Office of Water published the Watershed Protection: A Project Focus in 1995 to promote watershed-level planning as envisioned under the Watershed Protection Approach. The document describes a logical process for planning and implementing watershed projects and presents some lessons learned in previous projects. The document emphasizes ecological integrity in watersheds by addressing chemical, physical, biological and habitat stressors in addition to the more traditional goal of protecting human health through chemical water quality criteria. It also encourages the targeting of watersheds for action and pooling resources and expertise with other government agencies and citizen groups.

Download the full document (PDF) (154 pp, 1.6MB, About PDF)

NOTE: A more recent reference on this topic of watershed planning is the Watershed Planning Handbook that is part of a larger website called Watershed Central.

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