Watershed Policy

Elements of a State Water Monitoring and Assessment Program (EPA, 2003)

EPA and States need comprehensive water quality monitoring and assessment information on environmental conditions and changes over time to help set levels of protection in water quality standards and to identify problem areas that are emerging or that need additional regulatory and non-regulatory actions to support water quality management decisions such as TMDLs, NPDES permits, enforcement, and nonpoint source management. This information also informs EPA and State decisionmakers, the Congress, the public, and other stakeholders of the progress that the Agency and State partners are making in protecting human health and the environment. Without this information, it is difficult for EPA and the States to set priorities, evaluate the success of programs and activities, and report on accomplishments in a credible and informed way (U.S. GAO 2000).

California Ocean Resources Management Program

The mission of the California Ocean Resources Management Program (Program) is:

To ensure comprehensive and coordinated management, conservation and enhancement of California's ocean resources for their intrinsic value and for the benefit of current and future generations.

Through the California Ocean Resources Management Act (Public Resources Code 36000 et seq.) the Legislature declared that it is the policy of the State of California to:

  • develop and maintain an ocean resources planning and management program to promote and ensure coordinated management of federal and State resources, and to ensure coordination with adjacent states;
  • ensure effective participation in federal planning and management of ocean resources and uses which may affect this State; and
  • coordinate state agency management of ocean resources with local government management of coastal zone uses and resources above the mean high tide line.

California Resources Agency Reports and Publications on Restoration, Watersheds, Salmon, and Forests

These reports describe views adopted as guiding principles by the State of California regarding watershed functioning and related issues (e.g., forestry, stakeholder processes, hydroelectric relicensing).

Watershed Planning Guide -- Coastal Conservancy

By Kate J. Goodnight. Coastal Conservancy. 2000, 17pp

State of Washington Approach to Watershed Assessment and Planning

This site of the Washington Department of Ecology is an index to the extensive on-line resources related to this state’s watershed programs. In addition to links for individual watershed plans that are completed or in progress, information on the state’s approaches to assessment and planning are available.


California RWQCB Basin Plans

Each Regional Board is required to develop, adopt (after public hearing), and implement a Water Quality Control Plan (Basin Plan). The Basin Plan is the master policy document that contains descriptions of the legal, technical, and programmatic bases of water quality regulation. These plans include:

• A statement of beneficial water uses that the Regional Board will protect;
• The water quality objectives needed to protect the designated beneficial water uses; and
• The implementation plans for achieving the water quality objectives through its regulatory programs.

North Coast Region

San Francisco Bay Region

Central Coast Region

Los Angeles Region

Central Valley Region

Lahontan Region

Colorado River Basin Region

Santa Ana Region

San Diego Region