both in the watersheds and in the marine environment. In most regions, fragmentation of water quality responsibilities is exacerbated by significant gaps in coverage: nonpoint source control and toxicant elimination are two relatively neglected areas.

  • Regional land use, growth management, and natural resource planning are usually undertaken in isolation from wastewater planning and discharge permitting programs. In addition, these planning activities are often divorced from implementation activities. With the continuing rapid pace of population growth in many coastal areas, land-use and transportation decisions actually have as much to do with future water quality as the issues usually considered within the scope of water quality programs.

  • Water quality is generally evaluated and addressed as if air pollution, solid and hazardous waste, and land-use and water-use decisions were unrelated issues. The converse is also true. This compartmentalization of environmental problems obscures the important ways in which these issues affect each other and hinders effective solutions, especially pollution prevention strategies.

  • Funding for water quality and other environmental programs is a patchwork at the federal, state, and local levels. The way money is collected, earmarked, and spent on water quality improvements tends to reinforce fragmentation and the resulting inability to consider and rank priorities on any broad basis.

Jurisdictional Complexity

A typical coastal area includes hundreds of jurisdictions, agencies, and other public bodies on its list of important water-quality actors. Numerous agencies and jurisdictions may exist within a single tributary watershed. Each agency may have several separate bureaucracies with relevant programs, requirements, and responsibilities. A pertinent example is the Puget Sound region of Washington State, where 454 public entities exercise jurisdiction over water quality and related ecosystem management including ''6 federal agencies, 5 state agencies, 12 county governments, 14 tribal governments, 100 cities, 40 port districts, 110 water districts, 42 sewer districts, 25 diking districts, 50 drainage districts, 15 flood control districts, 12 soil and water conservation districts, 14 parks and recreation districts, and 9 public utility districts" (PSWQA 1984).

At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Transportation are important actors in any coastal area. In some parts of the country, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and others have significant water-quality related programs.



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