New Handbook to Help Accelerate Watershed-Protection Programs

Questions about managing pollution runoff, increasing wildlife habitat and controlling invasive species in the nation's estuaries are among those addressed in a new EPA handbook released at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation in St. Louis, EPA announced on Aug. 30.

Community-Based Watershed Management: Lessons from the National Estuary Program is an update to Saving Bays and Estuaries, published in 1989. While the new handbook focuses on estuaries, its principles and examples are relevant to any organization involved in watershed management.

The 98-page handbook describes innovative approaches developed and conducted by the 28 National Estuary Programs, which are community-based watershed-management organizations that restore and protect coastal watersheds. Topics covered range from starting a program, identifying problems and solutions to plan development and action steps.

"We anticipate that this handbook will be a useful tool for watershed protection," said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Benjamin H. Grumbles. "It's an A-to-Z, how-to guide for everyone involved in estuary management as well as those interested in the protection of non-coastal watersheds."

Estuaries and the lands surrounding them are where rivers meet the sea, and where fresh water meets salt water. The National Estuary Program centers on four areas of the United States: Northeast, Middle and South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the West Coast.

Community-Based Watershed Management is on EPA's Web site and can be downloaded at For more information about the National Estuary Program, go to

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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