New EPA Tool to Help Communities Develop Watershed Plans

On April 18, EPA announced the release of an interactive, Web-based tool to improve efforts by states and local communities in protecting and restoring local water resources.

The Watershed Plan Builder will help local watershed organizations develop integrated watershed plans to meet state and EPA requirements and promote water quality improvements. The tool is designed to address polluted runoff, the largest contributor to water quality problems nationwide. Once users enter data, the tool produces an outline of a comprehensive plan tailored to a specific watershed. It features links to EPA, other federal agencies and state water programs.

During the next six months, the Watershed Plan Builder will be available to watershed organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and local governments to beta test the application and provide feedback. A team of experts from EPA's water programs developed the tool, with input from state, tribal and local agency experts and other local watershed practitioners.

EPA will host a Webcast on the Watershed Plan Builder on May 2 to give an overview of the tool's contents and provide an online demonstration. More information on this and other EPA's Webcasts can be found at http://www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts.

For additional information on the Watershed Plan Builder, visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershedplanning.

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