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Watershed Protection

Watersheds are topographically defined regions that are drained by a given stream or river system. They occur along a range of scale—anywhere from small headwater streams with small catchments to large rivers with watersheds that cover continental regions. The quality and quantity of water entering streams, rivers, lakes, and bays is often reflected in the land uses and land cover within the watershed. Watershed protection is considered any of the myriad of human measures (laws, policies, programs, and practices) intended to protect water quality and quantity in a watershed. These measures are numerous and often specific to land uses.

The 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) and subsequent amendments represent the primary federal law intended to maintain and improve water quality in the United States. Although water ...

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