In late 2013 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)released a new document called A Quick Guide to Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters (Quick Guide). This document is designed as a helpful introduction and guide to the information presented in EPA’s 2008 Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters (Handbook). The Quick Guide also describes recently released data and social media resources.
Why the Quick Guide?
The Handbook has been used by watershed practitioners, incorporated into training courses, and even adopted as part of college curricula. The purpose of the new Quick Guide, developed in response to feedback concerning the length and complexity of the full Handbook, is to provide a streamlined, easy-to-read summary. The guide also incorporates new watershed-related resources (data and communication tools) that have been developed since the Handbook was initially released. The Quick Guide is not meant to replace the Handbook, but rather to provide a brief guide to watershed planning and highlight new information that can be used for more effective decision-making, which in turn can lead to improved water resource management.
Organization of the Quick GuideThe Quick Guide is divided into two sections:
- Section I: The Basicsprovides a streamlined summary of the Handbook. It includes themajor steps in the watershed planning process and a brief overview of the nine minimum elements to be included in watershed plans under EPA’s Clean Water Act Section 319 NonpointSource Program.
- Section II: What’s Newhighlights recent EPA watershed-related initiatives and presents newtools that practitioners can access to improve water quality across the country. This sectionincludes tools for accessing data and prioritizing watershed restoration and protection, toolsfor sharing information and finding training opportunities, descriptions of new nationalinitiatives, and information about recent success stories and lessons learned.
Source: Nonpoint Source News-Notes APRIL 2014, ISSUE #95