WASHINGTON. D.C. 20460
                                   JUN I 8 1990
                                                           i™ A T E H
SUBJECT:  National Guidance: Wetlands and Nonpoint Source
           Control Programs
FROM:     Martha G. Prothro, Director  ^  	   ___
          Office of Water Regu>*rt5^jfis~^ijd Standards

          David G. Davis, Di
          Office of Wetlands

TO:       Regional Nonpoint Source and Wetland Program Directors
          (see Addressees)

     The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with the
attached final guidance for your use and distribution to your
States, Federal agency contacts and other interested persons.  A
draft of this document was sent to the nonpoint source (NPS) and
wetland program coordinators for comment in a memo dated January
16, 1990.  This final document reflects the comments received
from the Regions.

     The objective of the guidance is to encourage the
coordination of the NPS and wetland programs, both within EPA and
the States,  to attain the water quality goals shared by the two
programs.  Information from wetland programs can assist State NPS
programs by identifying wetlands impacted by nonpoint sources as
well as wetlands whose continued effective functioning can help
achieve NPS control objectives.  Similarly, NPS assessment and
implementation activities can be used by wetland programs to
protect and restore wetlands that provide water quality

     We hope that this guidance will be useful to your programs
as they develop and work together over the coming years.  This
general framework provides the States with considerable
flexibility in implementing specific activities.  We hope to
include additional technical procedures and approaches to the
guidance in the future as you and your States implement and test
NPS/wetland activities.



Tabl. of Content!
Executive Summary
2.1 General
2.2 Background - UPS and Wetland Programs
2.3 Funding
3.1 Wetlands as “Waters of the U.S.”
3.2 Wetland Functions and Values
3.3 Water Quality Functions of Wetlands
3.4 Restoration, Enhancement and Creation
3.5 Monitoring
Technical Criteria for Developing
Wetland Activities
4.3 Example Activities
6.1 NPS and Wetland Programs
6.2 Federal Agencies
Appendix - Definitions

Bxscutiv. summary
This document Was developed jointly by the Headquarters and
Regional nonpoirit Source (NPS) and wetland programs within EPA.
This coordinated effort was designed to achieve the primary
objective of enhancing the integration of these two programs as
they develop over the next several years. It is hoped that the
States and EPA Regions will take advantage of the many
opportunities that are available for these programs to assist
each other in the management of their respective programs.
Wetlands, as “waters of the U.S.”, are afforded protection
under the many provisions of the Clean Water Act. Section 319
provides a framework for coordinating NPS pollution control and
wetlands protection. Under Section 319, States identify NPS
impacts to all “waters of the U.S.”, including wetlands, while
EPA funds activities to protect and restore wetlands that are
themselves threatened or impaired by NPS pollution or that play a
role in achieving NPS control objectives. In addition, the
information collected under Section 319 can assist Federal and
State wetland programs to protect and enhance the water quality
functions of wetlands through permit reviews, Section 401
certifications and other mechanisms.
Certain wetlands provide water quality functions that
benefit other surface waters such as rivers, lakes and estuaries.
This document provides guidance on how State NPS 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 waterbodies. Given the
extensive losses of wetlands that have occurred over the last
several years, there are many opportunities for wetland
restoration projects to help achieve NPS control objectives.
In addition, the guidance encourages States to collect
information and develop methodologies for improving their
assessments of NPS impacts to wetlands. Finally, this document
provides technical criteria for developing coordinated
wetland/tipS activities. Specific examples are presented for
projects that may be supported and funded by both the tiPS and
wetlands programs. The document thus provides a framework for
coordinating program activities while giving the States
flexibility in developing specific procedures and programs.
i L ç
Martha Prothro, Director
-e flce of Water Re a tjons and Standards
Office of Wetlands Protection

Wetlands and
Nonpoint Source Control Programs
Prepared by:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water Regulations and Standards
Office of Wetlands Protection
June 1990

Special recognition goes to the primary authors: Beverly
Ethridge with the nonpojnt source program in Region 4 (Water
Division) and John Maxted with the wetlands program in
Headquarters (Office of Wetlands Protection). Valuable
assistance and advice was provided by the Regional noripoint
source and wetland program staffs.

The objecti’ e of this document is to provide information and
guidance on the coordination of State and Federal NPS control and
wetland programs and the implementation of activities that can
benefit both programs. It describes several opportunities for
the transfer of data and other information between these two
programs. State NPS programs can direct the control of NPS
discharges to wetlands and generate data and information on
wetlands that provide water quality benefits. Wetland programs
can provide data and information on wetlands to NPS programs and
use the information generated from the NPS program to protect and
restore wetlands through regulatory and non-regulatory actions.
2.1. General
Our understanding of the many benefits that wetlands provide
to mankind and the environment has evolved rapidly over the last
20 to 30 years. During this time, programs have been developed
to restore and protect wetland resources at the local, State and
Federal levels of government. Recently at the Federal level, the
President of the United States established the goal of “no net
loss” of wetlands, adapted from the National Wetlands Policy
Forum recommendations (Conservation Foundation) 1 . Since all
types of surface waters, including wetlands, are impacted by
nonpoint source (NPS) pollution and since many wetlands help
protect the water quality of other surface waters, the
coordination of the wetlands and NPS control programs can help
achieve this goal.
The objective of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is to “restore
and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of
the Nation’s waters.” Wetlands, along with rivers, lakes and
estuaries, are “waters of the U.S.,” and a valuable natural
resource to be protected from point and NPS pollution. Wetlands
provide many functions and values. The wildlife support function
is often the most easily recognized and appreciated. However,
wetlands also provide functions that benefit adjacent or
downstream waterbodjes that are much less obvious. These include
flood attenuation, erosion control and water quality benefits.
The functj s and values of the Nation’s wetlands should be
restored and Iaintajned to meet the overall objectives of the
Clean Water Act.
Nonpoint source pollution accounts for well, over half of all
impairments to water quality standards in rivers and lakes and 2 an
estimated 45 percent of impairments in estuaries (USEPA, 1986)
Nonpoint source pollution from a wide range activities, including
agriculture (row crops, grazing etc.), forestry, poorly sited and
maintained septic systems, resource extraction (e.g., mining),

construction, urban runoff and hydrologic modifications,
contaminates the Nation’s surface and groundw ±ter.
The protection of wetlands and the abatement of NPS
pollution are high priority EPA activities supported by Sections
404 and 319 of the CWA, respectively. The link between land and
water that wetlands provide inexorably links these two programs
together. As these programs evolve over the next several years,
there will be many Opportunities for the NPS and wetland programs
to work together to achieve common goals.
This document presents a framework for the coordination of
the wetlands and NPS programs. The NPS program can help to
identify impacts to wetlands caused by NPS pollution and identify
areas where wetlands protection and restoration will benefit
water quality. Wetland programs, including the Federal Section
404 permit program, State certification of Federal permits under
Section 401 of the CWA, and State wetland permit programs, can
help to protect and restore those wetlands that may provide water
quality benefits through regulatory and non—regulatory actions.
An important step in the coordination of these two programs
involves the personal communication between the professionals
within these two programs, both at the Federal and State levels
of government. This document is designed to encourage this
2 • 2 Background - NPS and Wetland Program.
Section 319 of the CWA is a comprehensive program designed
to provide a framework for the diverse patchwork of Federal and
State programs available to control NPS pollution. EPA’s NPS
program is administered by the Office of Water Regulations and
Standards and is represented by personnel in Headquarters (NPS
Control Branch) and the Regions (NPS coordinators).
Section 319(a) requires States to perform NPS assessments of
navigable waters of the U.S.. This includes the identification
of impaired and threatened waters and the activities causing
impairment. Where the State fails to complete the assessment,
EPA become, responsible for completing the assessment. Section
319(b) requires States to develop management programs that
identify controls and programs necessary to address impairments
identifi.d in State assessment reports. Both the NPS assessment
reports and management programs are subject to EPA approval and
There is also a diverse collection of Federal, State and
local programs designed to manage the Nation’s wetland resources.
The Section 404 program, administered by the Corps of Engineers
(COE) and EPA, regulates discharges of dredged or fill material
into “waters of the U.S.”. In addition, many States,
particularly coastal States, have their own wetland regulatory

Nonpoint Source Program
Water Division Directors, Regions I-X
Wetland Program
Water Division Directors, Regions I, II, IV, V, VIII, IX, X
Environmental Services Division Directors, Regions III and VI
Assistant Regional Adminstrator for Policy and Management,
Region VII

programs. The wetland program within EPA primarily carries out
its responsibilities under Section 404 while also promoting other
regulatory and non-regulatory activities related to wetlands
protection. EPA’s wetland program is administered in
Headquarters by the Office of Wetlands Protection (the Regulatory
Activities Division and the Wetlands Strategies and State
Programs Division) and in the Regions (Division Directors,
wetland coordinators and staff).
2.3 Funding Sources
The activities suggested in this guidance for coordinating
the NPS and wetland programs can be funded by private parties as
well as through a variety of local, State and Federal funding
mechanisms. Under the NPS control program, Section 319(h)
authorizes Federal grants to States with approved assessment
reports and management programs. These grants assist the States
in implementing the NPS controls identified in their management
programs. State grants can only be used to fund activities
contained in EPA approved management programs. The EPA Office of
Water has developed interim guidance on the allocation (USEPA,
1989) and management (USEPA, 1989)’ of these funds in FY 1990.
EPA plans to develop further guidance for future fiscal years.
Under the wetlands programs, Federal grants are available
under Section 104(b) (3) for the development of State wetland
programs. Funds are currently available in FY 1990 and
additional funds are proposed for future fiscal years. The EPA
Off ice of Wetlands Protection has developed guidance for this
grant program (USEPA, 1989) . The guidance identifies the
integration of wetlands into State NPS control programs as a
suggested activity; see section titled “Integration of Wetlands
Into Traditional Water/Natural Resource Programs.”
In addition to the funds available directly through the NPS
and wetland programs, the Clean Water Act establishes several
mechanisms for obtaining Federal funds for wetland/NpS control
activities. The EPA Office of Municipal Pollution Control has
developed guidance on the Federal funds available under Titles
II, III and VI of the CWA to support nonpoint source, groundwater
and wetlands activities (USEPA, 1989)6.
3.1 Wetlands a. “Waters of the U.S.”
Most wetlands are “waters of the U.S.” and afforded
protection under the various provisions of the CWA. The Federal
definition of “waters of the U.S.” is contained in Federal
regulations developed for the National Pollution Discharge
Elimination System (40 CFR Part 122.2) and the Section 404
program (40 CFR Parts 230.3 and 232.2). These regulations also

include specific definitions of “wetlands.” Section 319(a) of
the Act requires States to identify waters within the States,
including wetlands; that will not attain or maintain water
quality standards or the goals and requirements of the CWA due to
NPS pollution.
Wetlands are an increasingly important water resource
category in State water quality management programs. For
example, several States are using their authorities under Section
401 of the CWA to deny or modify Federal permits and licenses for
wetland fills that impact water quality (USEPA, 1989) . Some
States have included specific references to wetlands in their
water quality standards (USEPA, 1989)8 and others are developing
additional elements of standards for wetlands. Several States
reported on the status of their wetland resources in their
Section 305(b) reports (USEPA, l99O) . Several States,
particularly States with permit programs for wetland fill
activities, regularly track the spatial extent of their wetland
resource and conduct other monitoring activities. The Section
319 program should be consistent with these other program
activities by recognizing wetlands as a major water resource to
be protected.
State NPS assessments identify waterbodies impacted by NPS
pollution and are used to target control efforts. Generally,
State NPS assessment efforts have been hampered by inadequate
data designed specifically to address NPS impacts to surface
waters. Data on NPS impacts to wetlands is particularly lacking.
State assessments are dynamic documents, and States are
encouragedto update and revise them as part of their required
updating of Section 305(b) reports. State Section 319 programs
should continue to improve assessments of NPS impacts to “waters
of the U.S.,” including wetlands.
State management programs should also ensure that NPS
con ro1 activities do not adversely impact the functions and
values of wetlands. Recognizing wetlands as a resource to be
protected within Section 319 programs ensures that activities to
control NPS pollution also protect and restore the functions and
values of wetlands.
3.2 Wetland Functions and Values
The many functions and values that wetlands provide are well
documented in the literature (Fish and Wildlife Service, 1984)10.
The major functions can be divided into six major groups, as
shown below.
* o Water Quality Protection
* o Flood Storage and Conveyance
* o Erosion Control
* o Groundwater Recharge/Discharge

* Fish and Wildlife Habitat
o Natural Products
* a Recreation and Aesthetics
(* water quality or NPS related functions)
State assessment reports should strive to assess the impacts of
NPS pollution on these functions and values, while activities to
control NPS pollution identified in State management programs
should be designed to protect and restore these functions and
3.3 Water Quality Function. of Wetland.
Certain wetlands may provide water quality functions that
benefit adjacent and downstream waters. These wetlands may
include, for example, headwater wetlands that are upstream of
rivers, lakes, estuaries or riparian complexes, or fringe
wetlands adjacent to such waterbodies. The protection arid
restoration of the water quality functions of these wetlands may
be an important component of State assessment reports and
management programs.
It is well documented in the literature that vegetated
buffers or filter strips along stream corridors and riparian
areas provide a NPS control function by stabilizing banks,
trapping sediments and nutrients and reducing peak flows. By
storing water within the watershed, wetlands connected to rivers
and streams support stream flows during dry weather conditions,
and thus help to support fish and aquatic life uses. The water
quality benefits of wetlands are also well documented in the
scientific literature (US Army, Corps of Engineers, 1986)11.
3.4 Restoration, Enhancement and Creation
State NPS control programs provide an opportunity to create,
restore and enhance wetland resources to benefit water quality.
At the same time, NPS controls should not, in and of themselves,
adversely impact existing wetland functions and values. The
terms creation, restoration and enhancement are defined in the
Appendix. The following discussion provides a consistent basis
for managing the expansion of wetland areas within the context of
NPS control programs.
Where NPS control activities involve wetlands, a
determination should first be made of the current and historic
condition of the area where the proposed activity is to take
place. If the area is currently a wetland, activities could
occur to enhance water quality functions provided that all other
wetland functions are maintained and protected. For example,
sedimentation basins for NPS control should not be constructed in
existing wetlands since such activity would impair the wildlife

functions of the existing wetland, sedimentation basins should
be constructed in upland areas to protect the existing wetlands
and other surface waters. Such activities may require a permit
under Section 404 of Clean Water Act. If the area was
historically a wetland, activities should restore wetlands to
their original condition and function. UPS control activities in
such areas should not be limited to the restoration of water
quality functions. Lastly, if the area is a generally persistent
upland (i.e., neither a wetland or historic wetland area),
activities to create wetlands to benefit water quality should
attempt to simulate all the functions of natural wetlands.
However, such projects may focus on water quality as do other
projects involving the construction of treatment systems for
point source control.
EPA ’s Office of Research and Development CORD) has completed
a comprehensive evaluation of the success of past efforts to
create and restore wetlands (USEPA, 1989)12. A wide range of
experiences are summarized for different wetland types and
geographic regions. The document provides several
recommendations for program managers involved in the creation or
restoration of wetlands.
The ORD document emphasizes the importance of adequate
hydrology to support wetland creation projects. The restoration
of wetlands in areas that historically contained wetlands and
continue to provide sufficient hydrology have the greatest
probability of success. Wetlands created in areas that have not
historically contained wetlands and where there is insufficient
hydrology have a high probability of failure. UPS control
programs should focus first on wetlands restoration projects.
The creation of wetlands, even in areas that provide
sufficient hydrology, can often involve considerable planning,
design, engineering and construction expense. On the other hand,
the protection of wetlands that provide water quality functions
may be a “low cost” UPS control by maintaining these areas as
wetlands. Similarly, the restoration of wetlands may be a
relatively “low cost” UPS control by allowing “natural”
vegetation to be reestablished; e.g., establishment of filter
strips or the plugging of drainage ditches. The Conservation
Reserve provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198)
is an example of a program that can provide extensive water
quality benef its with limited engineering, design, and
construction expense.
3.3 Monitoring
An effective monitoring program as part of NPS control
programs is essential to track progress, develop and test
technical procedures and Promote public support and involvement.
EPA guidance (USEPA, 1987, l989) A establishes monitoring as a

high priority for the Section 319 program. The responsibility
for monitoring within the context of wetlands and NPS control
should be shared by both the wetland and water quality management
(including NPS) programs.
States should continue to improve assessments of NPS impacts
upon wetlands through their existing monitoring programs. Where
a NPS activity is designed to protect wetlands or where the
protection or restoration of wetlands is identified as a
component of a NPS control program, monitoring should be
conducted to ensure that the functions and values of wetlands are
maintained and protected and that expected water quality
improvements have resulted.
Monitoring within the context of wetlands and NPS control
programs fall into three basic categories: (1) monitoring to
identify NPS impacts to all wetlands, (2) monitoring of those
wetlands that benefit water quality and how this wetland
component is changing over time as a result of NPS control
programs and (3) monitoring of waterbodies adjacent or downstream
of wetlands and the correlation of water quality improvements in
these waters to wetlands upstream within the watershed.
Monitoring of the quality of the Nation’s wetland resource
and potential NPS impacts is limited by the current scientific
knowledge concerning indicators of wetland quality. For example,
biological indicators of wetland quality have not been widely
tested for wetlands and are generally not available. EPA
National Guidance on the development of biological criteria
(USEPA, 1990)” provides the framework for the application of
biological indicators to all waterbody types, including wetlands,
and may in the long-term provide a scientific basis for assessing
NPS impacts to wetlands. However, in the near—term, surrogate
measures of wetland quality may be used.
The spatial extent of the wetland resource may be a useful
surrogate measure for assessing NPS impacts to wetlands (category
#1 from above) and the effectiveness of controls designed to
protect and restore wetlands that benefit water quality (category
#2 from above). Since tIPS activities can result in the physical
loss of wetlands, through direct alterations (e.g., cultivation,
ditching aM drainage) or the discharge of tIPS pollution (e.g.,
stormwat.r), tracking the spatial extent of the resource over
time may idantify nonpoint sources of pollution. Monitoring
designed to evaluate the effectiveness of NPS controls involving
the protection and restoration of wetlands may also focus on the
spatial extent of the resource. This monitoring may be focused
either “on-the-ground” using available wetland delineation
techniques based on soils, vegetation and hydrologic measurements
or from a landscape perspective using available aerial
photography and wetland map products.

In conjunction with spatial extent, the type and
distribution of wetland Vegetation may also be an effective
surrogate measure of wetland quality. The use of wetland
vegetation to identify nonpoint sources and monitor the
effectiveness of Controls should be seasonally timed and consider
annual climatic variations. Many of the wetlands that provide
water quality functions are dominated by emergent vegetation that
changes with the seasons. In addition, annual variations in
rainfall may effect the spatial extent of wetland vegetation.
Monitoring activities designed to assess changes in wetlands
vegetation over time should consider seasonal changes in
vegetation and annual fluctuations in rainfall.
Where wetland protection and restoration activities are
designed to benefit other surface waters (category #3 from
above), several alternatives are available for monitoring.
Biological measurements, such as macroinvertebrate and fish
diversity indexes, have shown 5 promise for monitoring stream
quality (Plafkin—USEpA, 1989)’ . These indexes may be useful in
assessing improvements in stream quality due to NPS controls,
including wetlands protection and restoration activities. In
addition, traditional water quality monitoring of chemical
parameters, including suspended solids, nutrients, metals and
organics, may be used to assess improvements in water quality as
NPS controls are implemented. Efforts to correlate water quality
improvements with wetland protection and restoration activities
upstream or within the watershed can help to document the
effectiveness of such activities.
4.2. Giniral
States can receive Section 319 grant awards only for
activities and projects contained in approved portions of their
NPS management programs. Some States have included wetlands
related activities in their management programs. However, most
NPS programs have not taken full advantage of the uetland/NPS
relationships discussed in this document, In these cases, States
should consider the following two options.
First, State management programs that identify broad subject
areas, geographic regions, and specifically named waterbodies or
watersheds could include wetland related activities. For
example, the protection and restoration of wetlands could be
integrated into a comprehensive management program that includes
the establishment or maintenance of riparian areas, filter
strips, grassed waterways or vegetated corridors to help protect
adjacent and downstream waters from NPS pollution.
Second, States may revise their assessment reports and
management programs to specifically address wetlands. States are

required to submit updated Section 305(b) reports every two
years, and NPS information in those reports may serve as a basis
to keep NPS assessments current. State may also revise their
management programs through periodic updates. NPS program
managers are encouraged to make wetland components more explicit
in their NPS documentation to (1) ensure protection of wetlands
from NPS pollution and to (2) identify those wetlands that may
benefit water quality.
The management guidance for FY 1990 Section 319(h) grants
identified priorities for the award of grants to States using the
following criteria: (1) State Performance to Date, (2) Content of
Work Programs and (3) Monitoring. Included in the “Contents of
Work Programs” section, EPA has identified ten priority
activities for the States to consider in preparing their grant
proposals, and emphasizes six of these priority areas. For FY
1990, two of these six priorities address the link between
wetlands protection and NPS control: (1) protection of sensitive
and ecologically significant waters and (2) promotion of
comprehensive watershed management approaches such as greenways,
filter strips and wetland buffers.
The first priority, protecting sensitive and ecologically
significant waters, recognizes the special importance of certain
aquatic resources. One effective way to identify these special
aquatic resources, including wetlands, is to identify those that
have already received such a designation by government (Federal,
State and local) and private organizations. The public and
governmental organizations have long recognized that certain
aquatic resources demand special protection by virtue of their
exceptional quality. The following list includes several
instances where wetlands have played a significant role in the
designation of special aquatic resources.
o parks, wildlife management areas, refuges, wild and scenic
rivers, and estuarine sanctuaries;
o waters identified in State water quality standards as
outstanding resources under Tier III of the State’s
antidegradatjon policy;
o priority wetlands identified by EPA or the Fish and Wildlife
Service under the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986;
o sites within joint venture project areas under the North
American Waterfowl Management Plan;
o wetlands identified in plans developed by Federal land
management agencies; e.g., National Forest Management Plans;
o sites under the Ramsar (Iran) Treaty on Wetlands of
International Importance;

o biosphere reserve sites identified as part of the “Man and
the Biosphere” Program sponsored by the United Nations.
o natural heritage areas and other similar designations.
In identifying comprehensive watershed management approaches
(e.g., greenways, filter strips and wetland buffers) as a second
priority, the Agency also recognizes the value of wetlands and
riparian areas that have not been given the types of special
designations mentioned above. Those wetlands that are
“connected” to other surface waters such as rivers, lakes and
estuaries are particularly important in meeting water quality
objectives and NPS control goals. The protection and restoration
of these wetlands within a watershed can be an effective tool in
protecting adjacent and downstream waterbodies, some of which may
have the special resource designations mentioned above.
4.2 Technical Criteria for Developing Wetland Activities
The following is a list of wetland-related technical
criteria that are met by well designed and comprehensive State
NPS control programs. They provide a consistent basis for
developing wetland related activities under the Section 319
o All aquatic resources (rivers, lakes, estuaries and
wetlands) are addressed in program activities, e.g.,
assessments, controls and monitoring.
o Improvement of State capabilities to assess NPS impacts to
wetlands is an ongoing activity.
o NPS assessment and control efforts address sensitive and
ecologically significant wetlands.
o State management programs incorporate, where appropriate,
the protection and restoration of wetlands that provide
water quality benefits to adjacent or downstream waters;
e.g., filter strips or grassed waterways in headwater areas
and along water courses. These waters may include rivers,
lakes, estuaries and riparian areas.
o NPS activities involving wetlands include a determination
whether the project site presently contains wetland or
historically contained wetlands. Where wetlands are present
or were historically present, all wetland functions are
protected and restored. Where wetlands are not present or
historically present, projects may focus on water quality
functions, but should also strive to achieve other wetland
functions (e.g., wildlife habitat).

o Wetland-related NPS activities focus on wetlands protection,
restoration or creation, rather than on the alteration of
existing wetlands. NPS controls do not impair existing
wetlands. Existing wetlands are not altered to maximize
water quality functions at the expense of other functions
(e.g., conversion to sedimentation basins). Fill activities
in wetlands are regulated under Section 404 of the CWA.
o Attention is given to the creation of upland buffer areas,
where necessary, to prevent NPS impairment of existing
wetlands and other surface waters.
o Existing wetlands are not identified as “BMPs” or “treatnient
o Wetland restoration is preferred over wetland creation.
Generally, the restoration of wetlands has a higher
probability of success than the wetlands created in areas
that have not historically contained wetlands. In addition,
created wetlands are often more costly than activities that
restore historic wetland areas.
o Monitoring activities receive a high priority. State NPS
and wetland programs work together to (1) assess impacts to
critical wetlands, (2) measure success for projects
involving the protection and restoration of wetlands and (3)
correlate water quality improvements in rivers, lakes and
estuaries with wetlands protection and restoration
activities upstream or within the watershed.
o Spatial extent of wetlands (acreage) and the types and
distribution of wetland vegetation are used in monitoring.
Monitoring using wetland vegetation is seasonally timed and
accounts for annual fluctuations in rainfall.
4.3 Example Activities
The following is a listing of suggested types of activities
related to the protection and restoration of wetlands and the
control of NPS pollution. These activities could be supported
through Section 319 grants and other NPS funding sources.
o Statewide policies for the protection and restoration of
wetlands as vegetated buffers to control NPS pollution.
o The protection and restoration of wetlands as part of
comprehensive NPS control programs focused on specific
waterbodjes, watersheds or riparian areas.
o Coordination between the State NPS program and agriculture
departments on activities related to the 1985 Farm Bill and
the Conservation Reserve Program that restore wetlands and

buffer strips along rivers, lakes and other waterbodjes
where necessary to address impacts of NPS pollution.
o Coordination between Federal, State and local river corridor
and floodplain management programs, such as the Federal
Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System and
the National Park Servicets river corridor management
program, to create projects with multiple benefits; e.g.,
water quality, recreation and fish and wildlife habitat.
o Assessments of existing wetlands impacted by NPS, those
currently providing water quality benefits, and areas where
wetlands restoration can help achieve NPS control
o Use of existing and historic wetland maps (e.g., U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service’s National Wetlands Inventory maps),
soil maps and other information sources to identify existing
and historical wetland areas to assist in targeting wetlands
protection and restoration activities.
o BMP design manuals for filter strips address the protection
and restoration of wetlands.
o Monitoring to track wetland improvements where NPS control
are being applied.
o Where wetlands protection and restoration benefits adjacent
or downstream waters, monitoring of the spatial extent of
wetland vegetation and the correlating of these changes with
biological and chemical improvements in the adjacent or
downstream waters.
o Demonstration projects on the restoration of wetlands to
control NPS.
o Public outreach materials that highlight the importance of
certain wetlands in controlling NPS pollution.
State and Federal wetland programs, including EPA and the
corps of Engineers, can exert regulatory authority over certain
activities that impact the water quality functions of surface
waters, including wetlands. These include permitted activities
under Sections 402 and 404 of the CWA and related State permit
programs. In addition, Section 401 of the CWA gives the States
the authority to evaluate the impacts that certain Federal
activities may have on the water quality of the State. Wetland
programs also support a wide range of non—regulatory activities
that can help to protect arid restore wetlands. These activities
supported by wetland programs can help to focus NPS control

efforts on critically important wetlands (see Section 4.1) and to
identify and protect wetlands that provide water quality
functions that benefit other waterbodies. Information on these
programs is available from the appropriate Federal or State
administering agency.
The following is a sample list of possible activities
directly managed or supported by State and Federal wetland
programs that could benefit State NPS programs. This is not an
all inclusive list, but is intended to illustrate the types of
NPS control activities that can be directly supported by wetland
programs. Activities include both regulatory and non-regulatory
o Advanced Identification (ADID) — ADID is a planning process
established under the Section 404 program guidelines (40 CFR
Part 230.80, dated December 1980). Under an ADID project,
the Corps of Engineers and EPA jointly complete an
assessment of the functions and values of the wetlands
within a prescribed area. The ADID results in the
identification of wetlands generally suitable and generally
unsuitable for fill. In determining the suitability for
discharge, the ADID process follows the procedures defined
in the program guidelines, and includes the consideration of
the water quality impacts. Wetlands identified as providing
water quality functions could be designated as unsuitable
for discharge as part of an ADID.
o Special Area Management Plans (SAMPs) — SAMPs are another
planning process that involves State and Federal wetland
programs and may develop information on the water quality
functions of wetlands. The Coastal Zone Management
Improvement Act of 1980 provides grants to States to conduct
plans (i.e., SAMPs) for natural resource protection (i.e.,
wetlands) and reasonable coastal-dependent economic growth.
The COE and EPA are generally involved in SAMPs.
o Section 404 permits - The individual Section 404 permit
process takes into consideration the effects of a proposed
discharge on the environmental, functions of wetlands,
including those related to water quality. In addition, the
recently issued Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between EPA
and tj e Corps of Engineers (COE) on Mitigation (USEPA/COE,
1990) 6 states that mitigation for unavoidable wetland fills
should be considered in relation to wetland functions; see
Section III.B. of the MOA. Therefore, any water quality
functions lost as a result of Section 404 permits are to be
considered in mitigation decisions. Additional information
on the consideration of water quality in Section 404 permit
decisions is included in the COE permit regulations (33 CFR
Parts 320—330, dated November 13, 1986), the EPA Section 404

guidelines (40 c Part 230, dated December 24, 1980) and
the mitigation MOA.
o Nationwide general permits under Section 404 - Nationwide
permits authorized by the COE permit regulations (33 CFR
Part 330.5) generally do not require individual permits but
are subject to general conditions and management practices.
Information generated by NPS programs can be used by the COE
and EPA to administering general permits in a manner that
ensures that individual and cumulative impacts on wetland
functions are minor.
The Nationwide #26 (N26) permits (40 CFR Part 330.5(a) (26))
are particularly relevant to water quality and NPS programs.
N26 permits are applicable to discharges of up to 10 acres
of dredged and fill material into headwater wetlands and
isolated waters. The applicant is required to provide a
pre-discharge notification (PDN) of proposed discharges.
Headwater wetlands provide important water quality
functions. Information developed by NPS programs can assist
wetland programs in the management of wetland losses
permitted under N26.
o Section 401 certification - States may establish management
restrictions (e.g., limited use, time of use or type of
activity) or best management practices (BMPs) to control NPS
pollution as part of their 401 certification procedures.
The State certification of Federal permit or license (e.g.,
Section 404 permit) may be conditioned on the installation
of prescribed BMPs to control NPS. In addition, the State
can deny certification of a Federal project based upon
inadequate design or potential adverse impacts from the
operation of proposed NPS controls.
o Public education - Wetland programs may develop public
education materials that highlight the water quality
benefits of certain wetlands.
6.1. NPS and I•tland Prograa
Information on wetlands developed by Federal and State
agencies support a broad range of regulatory and non-regulatory
programs. Wetland program staff should provide this information
on an ongoing basis to Federal and State NPS control program
staff. As the State NPS control programs develop over the next
several years under Section 319 and with the participation of
wetland programs, information may be developed that could benefit
Federal, State and local wetland protection programs. For
example, wetland permit programs may use information collected as

part of State Section 319 management programs to identify
wetlands providing water quality benefits.
The coordination of wetlands protection with NPS control
requires, in some instances, coordination between different
organizations within EPA and at the State level. Where wetland
program managers and NPS program managers are, organizationally,
located in different agencies or in different parts of agencies,
the linking of these two programs will require active
communication and coordination.
6.2 Federal Agencies
The NPS assessment and management activities developed by
the States should be coordinated with agencies that play
significant roles in the national effort to control nonpoint
source pollution (e.g. the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil
Conservation Service, Extension Service, and Agricultural
Stabilization and Conservation Service and the U.S. Department of
the Interior’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as
well as Federal land management agencies that have management
responsibilities over Federal lands. The eight Federal land
management agencies are listed below.
o U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service;
National Forests
o U.S. Department of the Interior (DOl), Fish and Wildlife
Service; National Wildlife Refuges
o DOl, Bureau of Land Management (BLM); BLM lands
o DCI, Bureau of Reclamation; water resource projects (e.g.,
dams and irrigation)
o DCI, National Park Service; National Parks and historic
o U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; recreation lands
o U.S. Department of Defense; bases and other military
o U.s. Department of Energy; power plant lands
State Section 319 activities should endeavor to address NPS
problems on Federal lands to complement their activities focused
on State and private lands. This is particularly important in
the West where there are extensive Federal lands.
The Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DCI)
submitted to the u.s. Congress a report on the impact of all

Federal programs on wetlands (USD01, 1988)17. This report
includes a wide range of activities including those involving the
land management agencies listed above, the USDA Soil Conservation
Service’s responsibilities under the Food Security Act of 1985,
the Section 404 program administered jointly by EPA and the Corps
of Engineers, Coastal Zone Management programs administered by
the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration,
wetland related activities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS), and others. This document may be helpful in coordinating
NPS control activities related to wetlands with those of Federal
In addition to coordinating activities of common interest
between the State and Federal agencies, Federal agencies have
data and information that can be used to identify wetlands
impacted by NPS pollution and identify wetlands that provide
water quality benefits. For example, the FWS’s National Wetlands
Inventory (NWI) program has developed detailed wetland maps of
approximately 65 percent of the lower 48 States, and has
digitized this information for 6 States. This information can
augment information available from the State wetland and coastal
zone management programs for use in identifying wetlands impacted
by NPS and those that provide water quality benefits. In
addition, the NWI program and State wetland programs may also
have information on historic wetland areas that can be used to
direct wetland restoration activities to benefit water quality.

• Referenc.i
1. National Wetlands Policy Forum, Conservation Foundation;
“Protecting America’s Wetlands: An Action Agenda”; November
15, 1988.
2. U.s. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards,
“National Water Quality Inventory: 1986 Report to Congress”.
3. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards; Memo
from LaJuana Wilcher to Regional Water Division Directors;
“Planning Targets for FY 1990 Nonpoint Source Program
Implementation Grants”, dated December 1, 1989.
4. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards; Memo
from LaJuana Wilcher to Regional Water Division Directors;
“Award and Management of FY 1990 Section 319(h) Grants”,
dated December 15, 1989.
5. U.s. EPA, Office of Wetlands Protection; Memo from David
Davis to Regional Division Directors, “Guidance on
Implementing State Programs Grants Initiatives”, dated
December 8, 1989.
6. U.S. EPA, Office of Municipal Pollution Control; “Funding of
Nonpoint Source, Ground Water, Estuary, and Wetland
Activities Under Titles II, III, and VI of the Clean Water
Act”, April 1989.
7. U.S. EPA, Office of Wetlands Protection; “Wetlands and 401
Certification: Opportunities and Guidelines for States and
Eligible Indian Tribes”, April 1989.
8. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards and
Office of Wetlands Protection; “Survey of State Water
Quality Standards for Wetlands”, August 1989 (rev. 12/89).
9. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards;
“National Water Quality Inventory: 1988 Report to Congress”,
10. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; “An Overview of Major
Wetland Functions and Values”, FWS/OBS-84/18, Sept. 1984.
11. U.s. Army Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station,
Vicksburg, Mississippi; “Wetlands and Water Quality: A
Regional Review of Recent Research in the United States on
the Role of Freshwater and saltwater Wetlands as Sources,
Sinks and Transformers of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Various
Heavy Metals”, October 1986.

12. U.s. EPA, Office of Research and Development; “Wetland
Creation and Restoration: The Status of the Science”; Vol. 1
(EPA 600 / 389 /038a) and Vol. 2 (EPA 600/3-89/038b), October
]3. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards;
“Nonpoint Source Guidance”, December 1987.
14. U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and Standards;
Biological Criteria: National Program Guidance”, April 1990.
15. Plafkin, J.L., U.S. EPA, Office of Water Regulations and
Standards; “Rapid Bioassessment Protocols For Use in Streams
and Rivers”, EPA/444/4—89,iOOl, May 1989.
16. U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; “Memorandum of
Agreement Between the Environmental Protection Agency and
the Department of the Army Concerning the Determination of
Mitigation under the Clean Water Act Section 404(b) (1)
Guidelines”, February 6, 1990.
17. U.S. Department of the Interior; “The Impact of Federal
Programs on Wetlands, Volume I: The Lower Mississippi
Alluvial Plain and the Prairie Pothole Region”; October

Appendix - D•fi nitj 5 e
Assessment Reports — Reports developed by the States to implement
Section 319(a) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). These reports
document NPS impacts to State waters.
Creation - An activity bringing a wetland into existence at a
site where it did not formerly occur. Created wetlands are
designed to meet a variety of human benefits including, but not
limited to, the treatment of water pollution discharges (e.g.,
municipal wastewater, stormwater, etc.) and the mitigation of
wetland losses permitted under Section 404 of the Clean Water
Enhancement - An activity increasing one or more natural or
artificial wetland functions. For example, the removal of a
point source discharge impacting a wetland.
Functions - The role wetlands serve which are of value to society
or the environment.
Hftbitat - The environment occupied by individuals of a particular
species, population or community.
Hydrology - The science dealing with the properties, distribution
and circulation of water both on the surface and under the earth.
Management Programs - Programs developed by the States under
Section 319(b) of the CWA that identify the NPS controls
necessary to address State NPS problems, as identified in State
NPS assessment reports.
Restoration - An activity returning a wetland from a disturbed
or altered condition with lesser acreage or functions to a
previous condition with greater wetland acreage or functions.
For example, restoration might involve the plugging of a drainage
ditch to restore the hydrology to an area that was a wetland
before the installation of the drainage ditch.
Riparian — Areas next to or substantially influenced by water.
These may include areas adjacent to rivers, lakes, or estuaries.
These areas often include wetlands.
Upland - Any area that does not qualify as wetland because the
associated hydrologic regime is not sufficiently wet to elicit
development of vegetation, soils and/or hydrologic
characteristics associated with wetlands, or is defined as open
Waters of the u.a. — See Federal definition contained in Federal
Regulations; 40 CFR Parts 122.2, 230.3, and 232.2.

wetlands - Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface
or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support,
and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of
vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil
conditions. Wetland generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and
similar areas. See Federal definition contained in Federal
regulations; 40 CFR Parts 122.2, 230.3, and 232.2.
* Portions taken from: Kusler, Jon A.; “Proposed Guidelines for
Wetland Restoration, Enhancement and Creation”, Appendix to the
Proceedings of the National Wetlands Symposium titled “Mitigation
of Impacts and Losses; Association of Wetland Managers, Inc •.
October 8—10, 1986.