The Compendium of State Approaches to Protection

The Compendium of State Approaches to Protection organizes in a Story Map format examples of how state CWA 303(d) programs have pursued the protection of healthy waters. [Tip: be patient with the loading of the maps, especially at slower Internet speeds. Alternatively, the collection of resources at the bottom of this page provides the same information as the Story Map.]

Protection is one of the six goals of the 2013 Program Vision. Under the Vision, protection focuses on healthy waters, whether of high quality, unimpaired, or with limited impairments (to uses other than those for which protection is being sought). For more details on the key concepts underlying the Vision’s protection goal, please see the working draft of Protection FAQs.

While protection is a relatively new focus for the CWA 303(d) Program, it is not a new role. Most state CWA 303(d) programs are contributing to protection, whether clearly and deliberately or as an additional benefit of certain restoration efforts. This Story Map highlights how diverse protection activities have been and identifies who has done what, in the hopes of facilitating communication among water quality programs, especially CWA 303(d) programs, about approaches and lessons learned in this underexplored area. Regardless of the method, scale, or frequency, these protection efforts are important, for ecological health and resilience and because protection often is far less expensive than restoration.

Most of the information about state practice included in this Story Map stems from answers to a November 2018 questionnaire completed by CWA 303(d) staff from 44 states and the District of Columbia.

Included in the Story Map are two products inspired by, but that go well beyond, the questionnaire responses. Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (DWSRF) both allow for the support of protection efforts. This CWSRF white paper and this DWSRF white paper, developed by ELI in consultation with EPA and state staff, detail the federal statutory and regulatory provisions (and clarifications through EPA documents) regarding the use of state revolving funds (SRF) for protection efforts. The short papers do not detail the rules and practices of each state and territory’s SRF programs, but they do include a few state examples of SRF funding supporting protection efforts.

This compendium is a product of Cooperative Agreement X7- 83592101-0 between ELI and the U.S. EPA. ELI alone is responsible for errors or inaccuracies. The information provided here is not exhaustive, and is meant only to advance the knowledge of and improve communication among state, tribal, and territorial staff. 


Below are additional resources, including documents linked to in the Story Map: