United States	Office Of Water	EPA840-N-93-004
Environmental Protection	(4501F)	Summer 1993
&EPA Watershed Events
~ An EPA Bulletin on Integrated Aquatic Ecosystem Protection ~
Non-Traditional Flood Recovery Options Considered
by Dave Davis, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In Thislssue.„
Regional Watershed Activities
Call For Presenters - Appalacian
Rivers and Watershed Symposium
Conference Announcement -
Recent Releases
Watershed Events is intended to
update interested parties on the
development and use of watershed
protection approaches.
Watershed protection approaches are
integrated and holistic That is, they
consider the primary threats to
human and ecosystem health within
the watershed, involve those people
most concerned or able to take actions
to solve those problems, and then
take corrective actions in a
comprehensive manner.
Direct questions and comments
about Watershed Even ts toco-editors:
The devastating floods in the up-
per Mississippi basin have pro-
duced enormous costs in both eco-
nomic and human terms, but they
have also provided some new and
intriguing options for recovery.
Historically, this nation has re-
sponded to all disasters by almost
immediately rebuilding all infra-
structure to at least its pre-disaster
scale and without much consider-
ation for environmental impacts or
The Mississippi floods of 1993 are
being seen in a somewhat different
light. For the first time there is
broad public dialogue on whether
and how we can do better. The
dialogue focuses mainly on how to
prevent or reduce future devasta-
tion on this scale, but also whether
there are opportunities presented
to make some environmental gains
even in the context of rebuilding
the levees and other hydrologic
"plumbing" infrastructure.
Janet Pawlukiewicz, (202) 260-9194
Anne Robertson, (202) 260-9112
Office of Wetlands, Oceans and
U.S. EPA (4501F)
401 M Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20460
i) Printed on Recycled Paper
Within this context, non-traditional
natural flood and mitigation efforts
such as floodway easements and
wetland restoration are major top-
ics of interest. In the case of the
former, the point is to remove struc-
tures and other economic goods
from the floodplain, eliminate (or
not rebuild) levees and simply let
the river spread out when in flood
stage. This is, in effect, the way
nature designed the system in the
first place, and it both avoids eco-
nomic and other loss in the flood-
way area and lessens downstream
impacts by lowering the flood peak.
In the case of wetlands restoration,
the goal is to restore wetlands in
tributary systems so that these wet-
lands can retain local rainfall, thus
reducing downstream flood flows.
In both cases, the environment ben-
efits from an increased inventory
of natural habitat (wetlands, ripar-
ian forests) and more normal river-
floodplain relationship in terms of
chemical, physical, and biological
cycles. Likewise, there are eco-
nomic benefits from reduced flood
losses, and in some cases, the retire-
ment of marginal farmlands.
The Administration's response to
the flood is taking several tacks.
The largest and most visible is the
traditional response to protecting
human health and property. Agri-
culture Secretary Espy leads a top-
level steering group, supported by
a series of task forces focusing on
topics such as restoring roads, hous-
ing, and drinking water systems,
and economic/social recovery in
Flood-Continued on Page 8
O) Printed with Soy/Canola lnk.on paper that
Y~ir7 contains at least 50% recycled fiber

Page 2
Watershed Events
Summer 1993
Nature Conservancy's "Last Great Places" Initiative Helps Big Darby Creek
by Steve Jordan, The Nature Conservancy (Ohio Chapter)
With the launching of its "Last Great
Places, An Alliance for People and the
Environment" initiative in May 1991,
the Nature Conservancy (TNC) em-
barked on a journey to identify and
protect rare ecosystems. This initiative
marks a departure from TNC's tradi-
tional way of doing business. Histori-
cally, TNC has operated through a pro-
cess which identified the location of
rare species, designed a preserve to
provide an adequate level of protec-
tion for those species of interest, and
obtained some type of legal interest in
the land contained within the preserve
However, the conservation and natu-
ral resources communities are realiz-
ing more and more that a "museum"
type approach, where discrete pre-
serves are set aside to safeguard a par-
ticular species of interest, is perhaps
not the best method. Acceptance of
this view is increasing in large part
because the "museum" methodology
fails to recognize that humans have an
enormous impact on what takes place
within a preserve's boundaries. Hu-
mans must be included in any preser-
vation scheme because, in many cases,
they live and work within the preserve
boundaries or at the very least their
activities adjacent to the preserves af-
fect the preserves.
For TNC, the "Last Great Places" ini-
tiative is a natural evolution from the
smaller sized preserves into large scale
projects that recognize the important
role that humans play in determining
the ultimate health of any particular
ecosystem. Necessarily, this initiative
places less emphasis on simply buying
the land and a greater emphasis on
working through partnerships.
What makes a "Last Great Place?" First
and foremost, there must be concen-
trations of rare or endangered species
of interest. Next, the ecosystem,
whether itbe terrestrial or aquatic, must
be a high quality example and be eco-
logically salvageable, in that it must
not be so far degraded as to be beyond
the point of no return. And last but
certainly not least, there must be the
potential for partnerships. The local
community must have the will, in a
political, business, and private sense,
to preserve the ecosystem of interest.
The design of any "Last Great Place"
takes its cue from the United Nations'
Man and the Biosphere Program. Each
landscape size project has a core area
which encompasses the most critical
habitat of the most critical species.
Immediately surrounding the core is a
buffer area. The buffer area can vary
enormously in size and geometric con-
figuration. It will encompass the neigh-
boring territory where inappropriate
human uses of land, water, and natu-
ral resources could pose a direct threat
to the core itself. The buffer area real-
istically is the entire watershed since
virtually all activities within the wa-
tershed will eventually have an impact
on the stream to one degree or another.
Eventually, TNC anticipates working
at 75 "Last Great Places" sites. To date,
the Conservancy has identified 40 of
these landscape scale projects. One of
these is the Big Darby Creek in Ohio.
Big Darby Creek is considered a "Last
Great Place" principally because of the
great diversity of life which calls the
creek its home. Big Darby Creek is the
home of 86 species of fish, 12 of which
are rare or endangered; 40 species of
mussels, 11 of which are rare or endan-
gered; 176 species of birds; 34 species
of mammals; and enumerable amphib-
ians and reptiles. This great calliope of
life all exists within a relatively small
combined river length of approxi-
mately 80 miles. The core area is the
stream and the riparian corridor. How-
ever, the area of interest is a watershed
of approximately 560 square miles.
Within that area are a multitude of
overlapping jurisdictions. The project
is of such a physical size and political
and legal complexity, that no one single
organization could hope to have a sig-
nificant impact working alone. Thus,
partnerships take on a role of crucial
The Ohio Department of Natural Re-
sources has designated approximately
82 miles of the Big and Little Darby
Creeks as state "Scenic Rivers." These
same areas have been recommended
for inclusion into the National Wild
and Scenic River Program. The Ohio
Department of Environmental Protec-
tion classifies much of the stream as
"exceptional warm water habitat."
Surprisingly, the survival of the Big
Darby's ecological diversity has been
by accident and coincidence rather than
the result of purposeful conservation
efforts. Accident and coincidence are
no longer sufficient to conserve this
world class resource. Over the past
decade, water quality conditions in the
Big Darby have deteriorated due to a
number of environmental threats prin-
cipally agricultural run-off, deforesta-
tion of the stream corridor, and
TNC has joined with over 30 public
and private organizations to develop
innovative biological assessment pro-
grams in addition to agricultural, for-
est restoration, land-use planning, and
protection projects. The project is akin
to a large picnic, and each partner
brings something different to the table.
The United States Department of Agri-
culture has designated the watershed
as a Hydrologic Unit. This status re-
sults in extra funds and personnel for
the watershed. It also gives preferen-
tial treatment to the farmers of the
watershed for inclusion in other fed-
eral programs. The Hydrologic Unit is
a water quality project with a goal of
reducing soil loss by 40 percent.
A cooperative venture with research-
ers at Ohio State University has led to
development of a computer based in-
formation system. This model is not
only able to track land uses within the
watershed, but can also simulate a va-
riety of cause and effect relationships
between land use changes and water
Last Great Places-Continued on Page 3

Summer 1993
Watershed Events
Page 3
Regional Watershed Approach Designed for South Florida and the Everglades
by Eric Slaughter, U.S. EPA
mining, thediversion of water foragri-
cultural and other development pur-
poses, and the ever-increasing with-
drawals of groundwater to serve the
population of Miami-Dade. Histori-
cally, freshwater from the Everglades
coursed into Florida Bay. Over the last
decade, the cessation of this flow has
created a hypersaline environment
with salinities sometimes reaching 52
parts per thousand. Hence, the entire
ecosystem hasbeen changed radically.
For example, the diversity of sub-
merged grasses hasbeen replaced with
asingiedominantspeciesofalgae. The
huge water withdrawals fromaquifers
underlying the region are not returned
to the land, but are discharged off-
shore through Miami-Dade's ocean
outfalls. The effluent's nutrients (es-
pecially nitrogen) have been blamed
for the destruction of the first of three
tiers of reefs which lie off southeast
Realizing that the environmental
threats throughout South Florida are
interconnected, representatives of Fed-
eral environmental and natural re-
source agencies formed a federal South
Florida Ecosystem Management Task
Force. On September 23, the Federal
agencies on the Task Force signed an
historic interagency agreement (IAG).
This IAG commits the signatory agen-
cies to consolidate Federal objectives
on ecosystem restoration, coordinate
research on the South Florida ecosys-
tem, establish partnerships with State
and Local agencies to support land
acquisition initiatives, support expe-
dited implementation of Corpspro jects
in the Everglades, and develop an inte-
grated, long-term proposal and bud-
get for ecosystem restoration, mainte-
nance, and protection.
The decline of the Everglades is now a
well-known environmental issue. Very
recently however, this decline has also
been connected to the declineof Florida
Bay and the coral reefs south of Dade
and Broward counties. The central
problem in the Everglades is the re-
duction of freshwater flowing through
the region. The reduction results from
several human activities including
the Florida Keys Water Quality Protec-
tion Program. The Task Force is bro-
ken into two parts: a high level Steer-
ing Committee and a regional Man-
agement and Coordination Commit-
tee composed of officials who are physi-
cally located in the region. Actions
have already been initiated by the Task
Force including a major program to
restore freshwater flows by removing
or changing the diversion structures
installed over the years by the Corps of
Engineers. Meanwhile, a full water-
shed approach affecting the entire
south Florida region will be imple-
mented, beginning with region-wide
meetings involving a cross-section of
the community to prioritize problems
and develop additional action plans.
For more information contact Eric
Slaughter, (202) 260-1051 or Fran
Eargle, (202) 260-1954.
The Task Force's major goal is to re-
store and protect the resources of the
Everglades system which includes
Florida Bay. This effort is closely linked
to the State's efforts and those of the
affected Water Management Districts,
local governments and industry, and
Tampa Bay Implements Watershed Approach in CCMP
The Management Committee of the
Tampa Bay National Estuary Program
(NEP) will include in its Comprehen-
sive Conservation and Management
Plan (CCMP), action plans which en-
compass both the larger watershed and
Tampa Bay proper. According to Dick
Eckenrod, Director, by deciding to de-
sign its CCMP in this manner, the Con-
ference has applied the watershed pro-
tection approach more broadly than
most of the other NEPs to date.
The Tampa program and the South-
west Florida Water Management Dis-
trict sponsored the first of several work-
shops on watershed management on
June 25. Stakeholders from a much
larger geographic area than was previ-
ously represented in the program par-
ticipated. The first workshop focused
on reducing pollutant loadings in the
streams feeding Tampa Bay estuary.
Many key players in the Tampa Bay
watershed including utility companies
and other major industries attended
the June workshop. Eckenrod believes
that these sectors must be at the table
along with development and financial
leaders. Bringing in these parties to
join federal, state and local officials;
scientists; educators; and citizens is an
ambitious first in the NEP and the
watershed protection approach.
The workshop was so successful that
attendees agreed to participate in a
series of workshops to help produce
the watershed action plans that will be
part of the overall CCMP for Tampa.
For more information, contact Dick
Eckenrod at (813) 893-2765.
Last Great Places-Continued from Page 2
The United States Environmental Pro-
tection Agency (EPA) has selected the
watershed as one of five case studies
nationwide for inclusion in the Eco-
logical Risk Assessment Program. The
methods and guidelines developed
through these case studies will help
EPA develop an approach to water-
sheds which relies on the integrated
management of the stresses which are
degrading the watershed.
There are many more partners all con-
tributing in their own way toward pre-
serving the Big Darby Creek system
for future generations.
In the Big Darby Creek Project, TNC
continues to carry out its traditional
science and stewardship functions in
addition to taking on an even more
important role as facilitator, forging
coalitions among sometimes compet-
ing interest groups. As a result the
Conservancy and its partners are well
on our way to producing a model of
how an entire ecosystem can be pre-
served without impairing the area's
economic potential. For more infor-
mation, contactSteve Jordan, (614) 486-

Page 4
Watershed Events
Summer 1993
Tackling Nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay
Nutrient over enrichment is the big-
gest challenge facing the overall effort
to restore the Chesapeake Bay. To
address the nutrient problem, tribu-
tary strategies are being developed by
the jurisdictions of the Chesapeake Bay
Program — Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The
goal of these strategies is to reduce the
controllable nitrogen and phosphorus
levels in the bay by 40 percent, benefit-
ing both the Bay and its tributaries.
Public participation is a critical ele-
ment of the strategy development.
The Problem
High levels of phosphorus and nitro-
gen havecaused excessive algal growth
which has been detrimental to the Bay's
other living resources and its water
quality. The effects of the nutrient-
induced algal growth are two-fold.
First, it harms habitat in the Bay's shal-
low areas by blocking the light the
underwater bay grasses need to grow.
The resulting loss of these grass beds
robs fish, shellfish, and waterfowl of
spawning and feeding areas as well as
shelter. Second, when the algae die
and sink to the bottom, their decompo-
sition consumes much needed dis-
solved oxygen in the Bay's deeper ar-
eas. Many bottom-living animals such
as oysters, clams, and worms which
provide food for fish and crabs cannot
survive in this reduced oxygen envi-
ronment. CEditor's Note: Many estuar-
ies, some of which are included in the
National Estuary Program and others
which are not, experience similar prob-
Nutrients reach the Bay from a variety
of sources located within its drainage
basin which covers64,000 square miles
and extends north to New York, south
to Virginia, east to Delaware, and west
to West Virginia. More than three-
fifths of the nitrogen and half of the
phosphorus come from nonpoint
sources with the single largest source
being agricultural runoff. Chemical
fertilizers, animal manure, sewage
sludge, and animal wastes that wash
out of feedlots and pastures all contrib-
ute to agricultural nitrogen and phos-
phorus runoff. Other nutrient sources
include sewage treatment plant flows
and urban and suburban runoff. The
nutrient problem has been exacerbated
by the loss of the vast forests and other
natural buffers within the watershed
that once absorbed excess nutrients.
Another major source of nitrogen is air
pollution. Almost 40 percent of the
Bay7 s total nitrogen load may be attrib-
utable to atmospheric deposition. The
two largest sources of airborne nitro-
gen are automobiles and fossil fuel
burning power plants. Because offi-
cials are uncertain as to how the 1990
amendments to the federal Clean Air
Act will be implemented and its poten-
tial affect on the Bay, any reductions
that result from air pollution controls
will be considered as being in addition
to, rather than a part of, the 40 percent
By 1987, the Chesapeake Bay Program
determined that if nutrient loads into
the Bay were reduced 40 percent, nu-
trient enrichment would be reduced
sufficiently to replace the depletion of
dissolved oxygen, improve water qual-
ity, and encourage the recovery of the
Bay's living resources to earlier, higher
population levels. That same year the
Chesapeake Executive Council (the
governors of Pennsylvania, Maryland,
and Virginia; the mayor of Washing-
ton, D.C.; the administrator of EPA;
and the chairman of the Chesapeake
Bay Commission) signed the 1987
Chesapeake Bay Agreement adopting the
Baywide Nutrient Reduction Strategy
to reduce controllable nutrients flow-
ing into the Bay by 40 percent by the
year 2000. The Council also set a cap
on nutrient inputs after the 40 percent
reduction is achieved. For nitrogen the
cap is 229.9 million pounds per year
and for phosphorus it is 15.44 million
pounds per year.
Phosphate detergent bans in Pennsyl-
vania, Maryland, and Virginia;upgrad-
ing of waste water treatment plants;
improving compliance with discharge
permit requirements at those plants;
and better nonpoint source controls
havecontributed to a decrease in phos-
phorus concentrations in the Bay of 16
percent between 1984 and 1991. Dur-
ing the same period nitrogen levels
have remained constant. However,
nitrogen control efforts are having
some effect as evidenced by popula-
tion and waste water discharges in-
creasing at a faster rate than nitrogen
The Tributary Strategies
After further study and reevaluation
of the 40 percent reduction goal, the
1992 Amendments to the Chesapeake Bay
Agreement were signed. These amend-
ments commit Pennsylvania, Mary-
land, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
to set specific nutrient reduction goals
for each of the Bay's major tributaries
and develop individual tributary strat-
egies to achieve those goals as well as
to protect and improve aquatic habi-
tats in the rivers. Draft strategies will
be completed by December 31,1993.
The Tributary Strategies will provide
the blueprint for meeting the water-
shed-wide annual nutrient reduction
targets — 74.1 million pounds for ni-
trogen and 8.43 million pounds for
phosphorus — announced by the
Chesapeake Bay Program on Novem-
ber 4, 1992. These targets are to be
reached by the year 2000 and are based
upon the 1985 base nutrient load — a
combination of the 1985 point source
discharges of nutrients and the aver-
age nonpoint source discharge from
The Tributary Strategies address the
nutrient pollution problem at its source,
upstream on the land that drains into
the Bay's tributaries which flow into
the Bay. When completed, the Tribu-
tary Strategies will describe, for each
tributaiy, theamountof reduction that
is to be made, the amount of that re-
duction which had been made since
1985, and how the remaining reduc-
tions will be achieved. Management
opportunities for controlling agricul-
tural, urban, and suburban runoff and

Summer 1993
Watershed Events
Ecosystem/Watershed Approach Proposed
for Pacific Northwest
for reducing nitrogen and phosphorus
in sewage treatment plant flows will
be included in the strategies. Specific
options for nutrient control include a
combination of nutrient management
plans and best management practices
to reduce agricultural runoff and bio-
logical nitrogen removal or the addi-
tion of chemicals that effectively re-
move nitrogen from waste water.
Phosphorus reductions from point
sources have proceeded ahead of
schedule, and a 40 percent reduction
from point sources has already been
achieved in some tributaries. There-
fore, most of the emphasis will be
placed on reducing nitrogen. Com-
puter models indicate that achieving
the nitrogen reduction will require that
the best available (or "limits of con-
trol") technologies be used for much of
the nonpoint sources in the watershed.
Biological nutrient removal will be
necessary for many of the sewage treat-
ment plants — major point sources for
nitrogen. These technologies are often
difficult and costly to use. Thus, the
Executive Council has called for con-
tinuing research efforts to develop new
and better ways to control nutrients.
In developing their Tributary Strate-
gies, states can trade reductions be-
tween rivers within the same geo-
graphic region and with other states.
Trading allows states to spend their
money in ways that will achieve the
greatest reductions with the most cost-
effective strategy and target reductions
to best benefit habitat in the tributar-
ies. Trades cannot be made in a way
that would harm habitats in the rivers.
In signing the 1992 Amendments to the
Chesapeake Bay Agreement, the Chesa-
peake Executive Council also stipu-
lated that the Tributary Strategy pro-
cess "incorporate public participation
in the development, review and imple-
mentation of the strategies, ensuring
the broadest public involvement."
Each of the jurisdictions in the Chesa-
peake Bay Program is developing a
public participation process for its citi-
zens. Contact Elliott Finkelstein,Chesa-
peake Bay Program, (410) 267-0061.
A Northwest Ecosystem/Watershed
Workgroup (NEWW), consisting of
state, federal, and tribal resource man-
agers from the states of Idaho, Oregon,
and Washington has developed a con-
ceptual framework and action strat-
egy for promoting ecosystem manage-
ment at the local, state, and regional
levels in the Pacific Northwest. This
effort is based on the recognition that
increasing political, economic, and so-
cial pressures require that we find
workable solutions to mounting envi-
ronmental conflicts and problems.
Resource managers in the Pacific
Northwest are faced with a growing
number of resource crises that occur
over wide geographic areas and within
complex biological and physical sys-
tems. The in tent of the proposed frame-
work is to improve cooperative efforts
in ecosystem and watershed protec-
tion by providing a means for coordi-
nation among agencies, at all levels of
government, and other public and pri-
vate stakeholders.
The goal of the proposed ecosystem
approach to natural resource manage-
ment is "to create a framework for an
ongoing process that will encourage
all stakeholders in a watershed to co-
operate in planning and management
of natural resources and to facilitate
the coordination of their activities in
ways that protect and rehabilitate eco-
systems within each affected water-
shed while allowing for sustainable
use." Principal objectives include
building partnerships, protecting and
restoring ecosystems, and developing
mechanisms for evaluating successand
managing adaptively.
This planning and management pro-
cess must identify and seek a harmoni-
ous balance of economic, environmen-
tal, and social uses of resources; moni-
tor those uses; and adapt management
strategies necessary to achieve specific
resource goals. To foster this produc-
tive harmony, the NEWW emphasizes
development of a stewardship ethic
(particularly at the local watershed
level), interorganizational partner-
ships, involvement, communication,
innovation, and producing environ-
mental results.
Because boundaries form the legal
framework for natural resource man-
agement, both civil and natural bound-
aries must be integrated within the
process. However, from an ecological
perspective, civil boundaries are less
important than the natural boundaries
of watersheds and ecosystems. The
proposed approach envisions three lev-
els of collaboration for integrating hu-
man and natural systems—local, state-
wide, and regional.
Local, whole-basin resource planning
and management is the most immedi-
ate of these levels. It is here that spe-
cific actions must focus on resource
protection and rehabilitation. Local
watershed coordination should be
broadly based and involve all stake-
holders. Regional and state-wide co-
ordination objectives would empha-
size integrated approaches, specific
regional or state priorities, education
and outreach, and cooperative ap-
The proposed framework has received
broad based support and is now being
reviewed for adoption by interested
agencies and organizations. For more
information, contact Ron Lee, EPA
Region 10, (206) 553-4013.

Page 6
Watershed Events
Summer 1993
Cleaning Up Headwaters Mining Waste in the Rockies
by Bill Wuerthele, U.S. EPA, Region VIII
Widespread destruction of aquatic
habitat and the continuous release of
toxic metals into the environment from
abandoned and inactive hardrock
mines is one of the most pervasive
environmental problems in mineral-
ized areas of the country including the
headwaters of the Rocky Mountains
where many stream miles have been
affected. Historically, headwaters min-
ing waste problems were considered
insoluble because of their large scope,
anticipated restoration costs, and in-
stitutional limitations. Today, how-
ever, it appears that integrated, multi-
program approaches to these complex
problems can produce cost effective
solutions at targeted sites. A result of
this changing view is the Rocky Moun-
tain Headwaters Mining Waste Initia-
tive begun by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). This Initia-
tive will foster an integrated, multi-
program effort that will bring together
the necessary Federal, State, local, and
private programs and resources to
implementcomprehensi vecontrol and
remediation measures on a watershed-
by-watershed basis and to prevent fu-
ture pollution problems.
The primary focus of the Initiative will
be clean-up actions, demonstration
projects, and the transfer of experience
and technology between projects. A
key element of the Initiative will be
development of a process which ranks
the problems in a watershed based on
severity and successively attacks those
problems in an iterative fashion. Each
of the specific projects sponsored and
funded through the Initiative will test
one or more elements of that process.
At present, no "road map" for assured
success in addressing the mining waste
problem exists. The character of the
problem, and the geology and hydrol-
ogy of the mineralized areas are such
that the release of heavy metals from
disturbed areas and mine drains likely
will be perpetual. Evaluating and over-
coming a problem of this scope re-
quires first a good understanding of
the problem and second an innovative
application of the understanding in
developing appropriate clean-up ap-
proaches. The only way to gain this
understanding is by "doing." As a
result, this Initiative is a series of dem-
onstration projects which will likely
produce both successes and failures
from which we will learn. The lessons
learned will be applied to developing a
"road map" which will allow us to
transfer technology to other water-
In Fiscal Year (FY) 1993, EPA, working
with several state agencies and other
interested stakeholders, selected a
number of demonstration projects and
remediation actions for sponsorship
with Initiative funding. The level of
available Initiative funding in FY93
was rather modest, and, as a result, the
Initiative has made a modest start. A
few examples of funded projects are:
•	On the mainstem of Clear Creek
near Idaho Springs, Colorado, the
Irtitiati ve will fund a fisheries habi-
tat restoration demonstration
project. This project will be spon-
sored by the Ci ty of Idaho Springs,
and it will be jointly funded with
Coors Brewing Company, an ac-
tive stakeholder in this watershed.
Also, on Clear Creek, the Initiative
will fund a demonstration project
which will test the effectiveness of
passive treatment (e.g., constructed
wetlands) in controlling the dis-
charge from an historic mine drain.
•	On the Blackfoot River in Mon-
tana, which recently gained na-
tional attention as a result of the
novella and movie - A River Runs
Through It, the Initiative will pro-
vide funding to a coalition of local
stakeholders through a grant to
the Blackfoot Chapter of Trout
Unlimited. The funds will be used
to help implement the River Corri-
dor Management Project which in-
cludes restoration of tributary
streams impacted by placer min-
•	On the Upper Arkansas and Eagle
Rivers in Colorado, the Initiative
will fund aquatic community as-
sessments by researchers at Colo-
rado State University. This re-
search is aimed at developing and
testing biologically-based indices
of metals impacts.
EPA plans to double Initiative funding
in FY94. In the meantime, the Initiative
is buying a lot of good work and a lot of
good will with a relatively small
amount of money.
In addition to the projects funded
through the Initiative, the EPA Region
VIII Regional Environmental Monitor-
ing and Assessment Program (R-
EM AP) proposal will focus on the head-
water streams within the mineralized
areas of the Southern Rocky Mountain
Ecoregion. The proposal has three
overall goals which will help develop
clean-up targets for the initiative:
•Determine the current condition of
biological communities in head-
waters streams;
•Enhance the existing knowledge of
biological indicators appropriate
for detection of metals impacts;
•	Advance our understanding of
what constitutes appropriate ref-
erence conditions in the mineral-
ized areas of the Rocky Mountains.
Several different measures of success
will be applied to this Initiative. First,
since a principal goal of the Initiative is
to serve as a catalyst for coordinated,
multi-agency and citizen action on
streams heavily impacted by mining
waste, a qualitative indication of suc-
cess will be increased clean-up activity
on these waters and a change in the
current public perception of these wa-
ters as hopelessly lost resources. Sec-
ond, within individual watersheds,
short-term and long-term quantitative
measures of success will be applied.
The short-term measures will be
completion of specific demonstration
or remediation projects. For example,

Watershed Events	Page 7
Yale Devotes New Center to Study of Coastal Watersheds
by Anita Van Breda, Yale University
Summer 1993
construction of a passive treatment fa-
cility, which reduced metal loadings to
a headwaters stream, would be one
short-term measure of success.
The long-term goal for each watershed
will be the restoration of healthy aquatic
communities. Since the affected head-
water streams and lakes historically
supported and are generally ecologi-
cally suited to support trout fisheries, a
more specific goal might be the resto-
ration of heathy trout fisheries. A key
element of the Initiative process will be
to establish site-specific, measurable
aquatic community clean-up targets to
serve as the long-term benchmarks by
which success will be judged. These
targets will be developed using a
biocriteria approach based on achiev-
able reference conditions for a specific
The Rocky Mountain Headwaters Min-
ing Waste Initiative is only a begin-
ning. The scope of the problem is
large, and significant progress will re-
quire a similarly significant commit-
ment of resources and, perhaps, new
legislative direction. The commitment
must be for the long-term. The prob-
lems were not created overnight, and
their resolution will, likewise, take time.
For more information, contact Bill
Wuerthele, (303) 293-1586.
Recognizing that coastal ecosystems
are an integral part of the environment
and an essential aspect of a holistic
approach to environmental studies, the
School of Forestry and Environmental
Studies at Yale University recently
formed a new academic program de-
voted to coastal and watershed stud-
ies. The Center for Coastal and Water-
shed Systems expands interdiscipli-
nary research of coupled coastal and
watershed ecosystems. Viewing
coastal waters and their watersheds as
inextricably linked, interdependent
systems is a unique aspect of our pro-
gram. The Center's mission is to inte-
grate expertise in terrestrial ecology
with research of coastal watersheds in
order to solve scientific and policy prob-
lems focused at the land/sea margin.
The primary faculty responsible for
the Center have collective research in-
terest in: elucidating metal speciation
in natural waters and sediments with
an emphasis on the identity and char-
acteristics of organic and inorganic
colloids and their influence on metal
speciation and behavior; the integra-
tion of field monitoring and computer
modeling to quantify the rates and
pathways of water movement through
upland, wetland, and estuarine eco-
systems; and environmental systems
analysis with a focus on the develop-
ment and application of operations
research methods for environmental
and resource management. A sam-
pling of current student research in-
cludes: a study of recent geological
history of Jordan Cove (Long Island
Sound); the influence of land use pat-
terns on stream chemistry; and origins
and implications of resource use con-
flict in New York City's Catskill water-
Research efforts of the Center's faculty
are modeled after the Hubbard Brook
Ecosystem Study, a long term
multidisdplinary investigation of the
interactions between atmospheric, ter-
restrial, and aquatic components of
small watershed-ecosystems. Our pro-
gram will similarly initiate long-term
multidisdplinary studies of coastal
ecosystems including the structure,
function, and interaction of terrestrial
and aquatic resources within the entire
watershed. The many policy and man-
agement issues to be ad dressed regard-
ing the coastal zone are just as numer-
ous and complex as the natural science
questions. Watersheds cross political
and social boundaries, and the coastal
zone is often thought of as an indepen-
dent shoreline system, the manage-
ment and use of which creates ques-
tions of a legal, social, and political
nature. We therefore view policy and
management studies of the coastal zone
as integral components of a holistic
approach to coastal research.
In addition to natural and social sci-
ence research, the Center offers field
training courses and public outreach
and education programs. A 1992-93
public lecture series included "Marine
and Coastal Conservation: Science and
Policy into the 21 st Century" and "Long
Island Sound: Science, Management
and Policy." A two day coastal-water-
shed research and management train-
ing class was held for incoming gradu-
ate students in August 1993, and a
Caribbean field research methodology
class focusing on the relationship be-
tween coral reefs and coastal zone
management is planned for Spring
For more information, contact the Cen-
ter for Coastal and Watershed Systems
Second International Conference on
the Environmental Management of
Enclosed Coastal Seas * EMECS *93
November 10-13,1993
Baltimore, Maryland
EMECS '93 will bring together repre-
sentatives of over 40 countries to
discuss issues relating to coastal and
enclosed seas. The three themes of
the conference are governance;
coastal science and policy; and stake-
holders - citizens and private inter-
ests. For more information contact
Helene Tenner, EMECS '93 Director,
(410) 974-5047.
Call for Presenters
Appalacian Rivers and
Watershed Symposium
The steering committee for the
AppalacianRiversand Watersheds
Symposium is seeking present-
ers for their June 2-5, 1994 re-
gional symposium to be held in
Morgantown, WV. The pre-
sentations should respond to
serious river, watershed, wet-
land; and water quality issues
of importance in Appalachia,
from New York to Mississippi.
For more information, contact
Roger Harrison, (304)472-0025.

Flood-Continued From Page 1
general. One of the task forces focuses
on environmental flood recovery; that
is, the question of how to rehabilitate
the plumbing system in a more envi-
ronmentally benign manner.
The Interagency Working Group on
Environmental Flood Recovery is co-
chaired by the Office of Environmen-
tal Policy and the Office of Manage-
ment and Budget, and includes high-
level representatives from the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), U.S.
Department of Agriculture, U.S. Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency, Depart-
ment of Interior, Federal Emergency
Management Administration (FEMA),
and other agencies. The Working
Group is following a two-pronged
approach. For the short run, the Work-
ing Group has developed and issued
guidance to the field offices of the
construction agencies (Corps, FEMA,
and Soil Conservation Service) estab-
lishing a process for factoring envi-
ronmental considerations into urgent
levee and other structural repair. This
process is built on the assumption that
for many levees, especially those that
were actually breached, there is only a
very limi ted opportunity for consider-
ation of alternatives to repair. Accord-
ingly, the process provides for a very
limited window of discussion of alter-
natives and leaves final, on-site deci-
sion authority with the construction
agencies and local project sponsors.
For other levees and structures which
are damaged, but not breached, and
which are not critical for the protection
of life and high-value property, there
is considerable opportuni ty for the con-
sideration of alternatives to repair and
continuing maintenance. For thisclass
of structures, the Working Group is
finalizing a longer-term process which
has an analytic process comparable to
a programmatic Environmental Impact
Statement (EIS) as its centerpiece. The
group hopes to have this plan in place
early this fall. Actual development of
the EIS will require a substantial exter-
nal outreach and education effort. At
the completion of this second phase,
the Administration will have the infor-
mation needed to establish appropri-
ate policies/procedures and to pro-
pose legislative changes, if needed, to
facilitatea "greener" plumbing system
for the upper Mississippi in the future.
Other aspects of the flood recovery
effort include development of a moni-
toring program to determine whether
drinking water supplies have been
impaired and to evaluate the changes
in land patterns, stream flow, flora,
and fauna. In addition, the Governor
of Kansas has proposed a debt for na-
ture swap.
Recent Releases
Luck Isn't Enough: The Fight for Clean
Water - This video explains the
causes and effects on nonpoint
source pollution, and suggests ways
that individual citizens and munici-
palities can combat it. Examples are
drawn from the greater Long Island
Sound region, but the information
is applicable to any locale. Copies
are $10 each. Call (203) 789-6454.
Office of Wastewater Enforcement and
Compliance(OWEC) Primer (EPA830-
K-93-001) - Gives an overview of the
integrated water pollution control,
permitting, and enforcement pro-
gram activities of EPA's OWEC.
Contact EPA's Office of Water Re-
source Center, (202) 260-7786.
Progress Report: Texas Colonias Sub-
Group - Provides an overview of
progress to date in the development
of a coordinated approach to imple-
menting assistance to colonias, un-
incorporated neighborhoods on the
U.S. side of the U.S. - Mexico border.
The Texas Colonias Sub-Group,
chaired by the U.S. EPA and includ-
ing representatives from several
other federal and state agencies, is
charged with exploring options for
financing drinking water and waste-
water infrastructure for the colonias.
Contact OscarCabra, (214)655-7110.
United States Environmental
Protection Agency (4501F)
401M Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Postage and Fees Paid