Watershed  Management  Resources  at  EPA
Many watershed organizations, local governments, tribes, and state and federal
agencies are now working together to manage water quality at the watershed level
using a step-by-step watershed management process. This process uses a
series of cooperative actions to:
  • characterize existing conditions,
  • identify and prioritize problems,
  • define management objectives,
  • develop protection or remediation strategies, and
  • implement and adapt selected actions as

A watershed plan documents the expected outcomes
of this process and serves as the action agenda for
managing water quality at the watershed level.

Although watershed practitioners recognize the benefits of using a holistic watershed
approach, some may feel overwhelmed by the amount and range of information often
needed to create a watershed plan. Fortunately, EPA offers numerous free tools and
resources that simplify the watershed planning process and provide access to needed
resources. These tools, highlighted in this fact sheet, include:
Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters.
This guidance document walks you through the watershed management process.
^ www. epa.gov/nps/watershed_handbook

Watershed Plan Builder. This online tool leads you through a series of
Web pages that asks you to input information about your watershed. The
tool generates a customized outline that will help you develop a watershed
management plan.
^ http://java.epa.gov/wsplanner/

Watershed Central and Watershed Central Wiki. Using this online information
sharing and networking resource, you can find applicable watershed
management information and connect with knowledgeable professionals.
^ www.epa.gov/watershedcentral

Training. EPA offers free online seminars and courses to help educate you, your
staff and stakeholders about watershed protection and planning.
^ www.epa.gov/watershedacademy

Funding. EPA offers a  series of tools, documents, databases and other tools
to help you identify potential funding sources to support your watershed
management efforts.
^ www.epa.gov/owow/funding.html
How do I protect and restore
my watershed?
Developing a watershed plan
will help you better manage
your water resources. A
watershed plan is a document
that describes the water
resource assessments,
management strategies and
restoration and protection
actions—and expected
outcomes of those actions—for
a particular drainage basin or
watershed. A plan will guide
you in your efforts to protect
and restore water quality.

         EPA's Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans
EPA developed the Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to
Restore and Protect Our Waters (Handbook) to help you develop
and implement watershed management plans. The Handbook offers
detailed background informatr
step in the watershed  manage
process (see diagram) and
provides comprehensive
instructions for developing,
implementing and tracking
the success of watershed
plans. It offers a series of
tools that:
Watershed Management Process
   •  Address social and economic factors, incorporate watershed science
     and involve a wide variety of stakeholders

   •  Identify sources and help quantify existing pollutant loads and estimate
     load reductions needed to meet water quality criteria

   •  Help select management measures appropriate for achieving the
     needed load reductions

EPA intends for the Handbook to supplement the many good watershed
planning guides developed by other agencies, universities and nonprofit
organizations. The Handbook can help anyone undertaking a watershed
planning effort, but should be particularly useful to those working to improve
and restore impaired or threatened waters.
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Contents of the Handbook
The Handbook Is very user-friendly. It
is divided into 13 chapters that move
through the process of developing,
implementing and evaluating a
watershed plan. The Handbook's
structure allows readers to either work
through the process step-by-step or
go directly to individual sections that
highlight specific technical tools used
                                                landBook lor Developing
                                                Watershed Plans to Restore
                                                >ml Protect Out Waters

                                           in different watershed planning steps.
                                           Each chapter explains the key concepts
                                           included in a particular watershed
                                           planning area and includes examples
                                           illustrating how the concepts are
                                           applied. To help you navigate through
                                           the watershed planning process,
                                           the Handbook provides worksheets,
                                           checklists and summaries of diverse
                                           watershed planning resources (see
                                           examples at left).
The Handbook may be used with EPA's Watershed Plan Builder (see next page), a Web-based watershed
planning resource. With your input, Plan Builder creates a detailed, annotated outline that you can use to begin
developing a comprehensive watershed plan.

          EPA's Watershed Plan Builder
          http://java. epa.gov/wsplanner/
EPA's Watershed Plan Builder is a simple-to-use online tool that allows
you to create a customized, annotated watershed plan outline. It provides a
consistent, comprehensive approach to watershed planning and is designed
to be used at any watershed planning stage, whether you are just beginning
the planning process or are updating an existing plan. The tool guides you
through a series of screens similar to the ones below and asks you questions
about your watershed.
                                      U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCr
Want to see Plan Builder in action?
View EPA's free, online Watershed Plan
Builder Webcast seminar at www.epa.
gov/watershedwebcasts (see "Tools and
Data" links at bottom) for a detailed
look at how Plan Builder works, and to
see samples of the types of information
you can expect it to generate for your
watershed outline.
          Watershed Plan Builder
           All fields labelled with a led asterisk * ate required.
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           sase create a plan name for your watershed :jr •:;=;£. T'Ti iiarn* v. ill Krantrfy your project
           thin the plan builder. Both plan name and email address are required and will be used to
           trieve your plan information in the future. If you have an existing project within the
           atershed plan builder, enter the name of the project and e-mail address below and click th
           Retrieve your data button" to a:ce=i th* -^, -^ information.
The screens will help you identify
   •  past or existing watershed plans,
   •  factors that are driving your watershed plan,
   •  your watershed's location,
   •  ongoing watershed activities, and
   •  current issues of concern.

Using the information you enter, Plan  Builder
creates a customized watershed plan  outline that
includes details about federal and state programs
that might offer program tools, documents, legal tools and
funding sources to help address the problems you identified.
It also  provides links to sample watershed plans. The
outline serves  as a starting point for you to begin
working through the watershed planning process
with your stakeholders to create a comprehensive
watershed plan for your watershed.
If you'd  prefer to work offline as you fill in
your customized watershed plan outline,
you may download EPA's Handbook for
Developing Watershed Plans to Restore
and Protect Our Waters (see previous

         Watershed Central and Watershed  Central Wiki
         www. epa.gov/watershedcentral
Watershed Central is a dynamic, evolving Web site that links users
directly to watershed information resources, guidance documents and
decision support tools offered by EPA and other organizations. It also
includes a collaborative application called a Watershed Central Wiki  that
allows watershed practitioners to submit and edit watershed-related
information, including case studies and success stories, details about
watershed organizations and their efforts, experiences with watershed
planning tools, and personal commentary on local approaches to
watershed management and planning. Content is constantly being
expanded and updated by the watershed community.
         Training @ the EPA Watershed Academy
         www. epa.gov/watershedacademy
                             EPA's Watershed Academy provides online learning modules and Webcasts to teach
                             stakeholders how to implement watershed approaches and conduct watershed
                             planning. The free, self-paced online training modules (see www.epa.gov/watertrain)
                             provide a basic and broad introduction to watershed management. The modules are
                             appropriate for a wide array of audiences—from government employees to interested
                             citizens. The Watershed Academy also offers periodic Webcast seminars, which can be
                             accessed live or downloaded later (see www.epa.gov/watershedwebcasts).
          Funding for Watershed Projects
EPA's Watershed Funding Web site lists numerous tools, documents and
databases that can help you identify funding options that might be available
to support your watershed planning efforts. The site links to useful information
from both the public and private sectors, as well as to EPA's Catalog of Federal
Funding for Watershed Protection (see www.epa.gov/watershedfunding).
The catalog is a searchable database that contains information on more than
80 federal financial assistance sources that provide grants and loans to support
watershed protection and planning efforts.
EPA Office of Oceans, Wetlands and Watersheds • Nonpoint Source Control Branch (4503T)
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460 • phone (202) 566-1155
EPA 841-F-10-003 • January 2011