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Water: Restoration

Wetlands and Watersheds

Wetlands and Watershed Planning

Wetlands are important elements of a watershed because they serve as the link between land and water resources. Wetlands protection programs are most effective when coordinated with other surface water and ground-water protection programs and with other resource management programs, such as flood control, water supply, protection of fish and wildlife, recreation, control of stormwater, and non-point source pollution.

EPA has been working in partnership with many others to design and implement the watershed approach. The following EPA resources may be helpful to you:

Partnership Agreement for Watershed Management between the U.S. Department of the Army Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Water)

Wetlands and Watersheds Factsheet

Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters, EPA 841-B-08-002, March 2008

Region 5 Wetlands Supplement: Incorporating Wetlands into Watershed Planning (PDF) (130 pp, 1.4 MB), February 2013 

The Watershed Approach

Center for Watershed Protection Exit EPA Disclaimer - A watershed planning site containing guidance on local tools to protect wetlands.

Non-Point Source Pollution and Wetlands

Non-point source pollution is the Nation's leading source of surface water and ground water quality impairment. When properly managed, wetlands can help prevent non-point source pollution from degrading water quality.

Wetlands and Runoff Factsheet

Wetlands and Non-Point Source Factsheet - Managing Wetlands to Control Non-Point Source Pollution - This is one in a series of factsheets designed to help the public increase their understanding and management of non-point source pollution in their community.

2005 National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution - describes practices to reduce nonpoint source pollution through the protection and restoration of wetlands and riparian areas.  

1990 National Guidance: Wetlands and Non-Point Source Control - describes how State non-point source programs can use the protection of existing wetlands and the restoration of previously lost or degraded wetlands to meet the water quality objectives of adjacent or downstream water bodies.

Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program

Urban Stormwater and Wetlands

Natural Wetlands and Urban Stormwater: Potential Impacts and Management (PDF) (84 pp, 212K, About PDF) - Addresses the issues and options related to the protection of natural wetlands that receive stormwater and urban runoff.

Protecting Natural Wetlands: A Guide for Stormwater Best Management Practices (PDF) (181 pp, 2.8MB, About PDF) - This document describes the potential benefits, limitations, and appropriate application of best management practices (BMPs) that can be implemented to protect the functions of natural wetlands from the impacts of urban stormwater discharges and other diffuse sources of runoff.

Floodplain Protection

Floodplains are the relatively low areas adjacent to rivers, lakes, and oceans that are periodically inundated. Floodplain lands and adjacent waters, including wetlands, combine to form a complex, dynamic physical and biological system that supports a multitude of water resources. Floodplains provide the Nation with natural flood and erosion control, natural water filtering processes, a wide variety of habitats for plant and animal communities, places for recreation and scientific study, and historic sites.

Wetland Restoration and Creation

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