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The Duck-Pensaukee Watershed Approach

Miller, Nick; Bernthal, Tom; Wagner, John; Grimm, Mike; Casper, Gary; Kline, Joanne

Wetlands are the powerhouses of the natural world. They provide critical habitat for wildlife and play pivotal roles in ecosystem processes, often to a much greater degree than the lands that surround them. Wetlands provide the “green infrastructure” necessary to sustain healthy communities and economies – protecting water quality, maintaining water supplies and reducing flooding issues. All wetlands provide important ecological services for people and wildlife, and the benefits of a wetland‐rich landscape are valuable and varied.

Clearly, loss of wetlands through draining or filling has high costs for people and nature. Through development of a watershed context this plan identifies the top tier of sites for preservation and restoration, based on their potential to protect water quality, abate flooding problems, maintain surface water supplies, protect shorelines, store carbon and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Results of the plan are intended to guide—but not
prescribe—the selection of wetland conservation sites (i.e., preservation, restoration, and management opportunities) in both regulatory and non‐regulatory settings.

This plan provides Great Lakes coastal representation in a larger effort by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Environmental Law Institute (ELI) and others to develop pilot studies for watershed‐based conservation of aquatic resource, as outlined in the 2008 compensatory mitigation rule under §404 of the Clean Water Act.