About Watershed Protection Plans

Watershed protection plans are a means to resolve and prevent water quality problems that result from both point source and nonpoint source issues. A watershed is the land area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, or the ocean. Watershed protection plans are intended to provide both an analytic framework to restore water quality in impaired waters and to protect water quality in other waters adversely affected or threatened by point source and nonpoint source pollution. Experience over the past decade has shown that effective watershed management includes active participation from stakeholders, analysis and quantification of the specific causes and sources of water quality problems, identification of measurable water quality goals, and specific actions needed to solve those problems.