The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the release of the Healthy Watersheds Initiative (HWI) National Framework and Action Plan. The HWI is intended to protect the nation’s remaining healthy watersheds, prevent them from becoming impaired, and accelerate restoration successes. The HWI National Framework and Action Plan aims to provide a clear, consistent framework for action, both internally among EPA’s own programs and externally in working with the agency’s partners. EPA will work with states and other partners to identify healthy watersheds at the state scale and develop and implement comprehensive state healthy watersheds strategies that set priorities for protection and inform priorities for restoration.
Healthy watersheds provide many ecological services as well as economic benefits. If successfully implemented, the HWI promises to greatly enhance our nation’s ability to meet the Clean Water Act Section 101(a) objective of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.