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COMPENSATING FOR WETLAND LOSSES UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT
already stated such a watershed orientation for selecting compensation projects (Scodari and Shabman 2000). In addition, a watershed perspective may suggest preservation (Kentula 1999; Winston 1996) as an integral part of maintaining wetland heterogeneity in watersheds.
Watershed organizational structure governs the flow of water and associated nutrients through a watershed, the relationship between hydrological processes and the position of a wetland in the watershed, and the relationship between wetland functions and watershed position.
Wetland location and position in the landscape influence surface and subsurface flows of water.
Equivalency of hydrological conditions and landscape position with reference systems and impact sites are viewed as important components of wetland restoration and creation.
Restored and created wetlands should be self-sustaining; to be self-sustaining, they must be properly sited in the watershed.
The position of a wetland in a watershed plays an important role in water-quality function.
Dispersal of plants and animals in a watershed is influenced by the proximity and number of wetlands in a geographic area and the functional interdependence of wetlands with other landscape units.
Numerous mitigation sites observed by the committee were not positioned in landscape locations that would ensure sustainability.
Site selection for wetland conservation and mitigation should be conducted on a watershed scale in order to maintain wetland diversity, connectivity, and appropriate proportions of upland and wetland systems needed to enhance the long-term stability of the wetland and riparian systems. Regional watershed evaluation should greatly enhance the protection of wetlands and/or the creation of wetland corridors that mimic natural distributions of wetlands in the landscape.
Riparian wetlands should receive special attention and protection because their value for stream water quality and overall stream health cannot be duplicated in any other landscape position.