The National Council for Science and the Environment
(Formerly the Committee for the National Institute for the Environment)
"Improving the scientific basis for making decisions on environmental issues"
- Watersheds

Last updated: 04/13/00
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Watersheds include all of the land and water that flows into a particular body of water, for example a river basin. They vary in size depending upon the body of water under consideration. Because of a shared geography and shared environmental conditions, watersheds are increasingly used as a unit of land planning. This section provides information on how population effects the water quality and life of watersheds and how the different watersheds provide resources for populations.

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title Ecosystems, Biomes, and Watersheds: Definitions and Use
Author M. Lynne Corn
Affiliation Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress
Peer Review Internal Review Process
Abstract 1993 report prepared as a briefing document for the U.S. Congress. "Due to conflicts in many areas such as old growth forests in the Northwest, the Everglades in south Florida, Chesapeake Bay, and the Rio Grande watershed, many people are advocating a broader approach to management of land and water resources and biological diversity. They argue that existing laws run at cross purposes, or that the plethora of requirements under many laws and regulations means that no land use decision is ever final. As a result, and from a surprising range of philosophical platforms, many in Congress are advocating "ecosystem management" in various land use and conservation issues. Yet, there is little agreement, even in the scientific community, on the meaning of the term ecosystem.
This paper describes the meaning and applications of ecosystem and of the related terms watershed and biome. It discusses the pros and cons of all three as organizing principles for land management, and the major issues that are likely to arise in the debate over ecosystem management.

Type of Resource Map
Title Watersheds of the World
Author World Resources   Institute
Affiliation World Resources Institute
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Map

Type of Resource Database of maps
Title Surf Your Watershed
Author Environmental Protection Agency
Affiliation U.S. Government
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Contains maps of watersheds in the United States with an indication of water quality problems and other information. Maps can be related to various geographical inputs such as cities. Visitors can also provide additional information and join discussion groups. includes

Type of Resource Database
Title Population Estimates for U.S. Estuarine and Coastal Drainage Areas
Author National Oceans Service (NOS)
Affiliation National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Population estimates for U.S. Estuarine and Coastal Drainage Areas. Data is separated into tables for North Atlantic, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, and Great Lakes.

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