The Corps of Engineers' responsibility for stewardship includes the management of wildlife and habitats that play an important role in the lands and waters found at Corps projects. A watershed-based approach is essential to integrate resource management with other jurisdictions and across various water issues. Watersheds and river basins form logical units for promoting and accomplishing this management ideal with stakeholders and partners. Managing resources in a watershed context promotes collaboration, facilitates greater balance among competing water uses, and accommodates resource leveraging toward achievement of common watershed goals. A watershed approach necessitates a systems approach, and frameworks and tools are available to help managers engage in wider-scaled analyses, decision-making, and integration of activities with other people.
Because there are many stakeholders in a watershed, there are many perspectives on what must be done to manage the watershed. Two primary stakeholder groups include the Natural Resource Management (NRM) community, which is responsible for resource management at Corps operations projects, and the Planning community, which facilitates the Nation's consideration of and decisions about ongoing conservation and development of water resources. Over time, this Website is intended to be a resource for the many intersecting interests of the Corps beyond these two communities of practice, and to provide "one-doorway" to the public about watershed management. But, as a start, this page will attempt to address the benefits of a watershed orientation in managing Corps stewardship programs, and will illustrate how stewardship and planning can compliment each other via the watershed work each community is engaged in. This Website thus provides the perspectives, tools, references, success stories and lessons learned to enable the Natural Resources Management and Planning Communities of Practice to do their jobs better. Hopefully, this Website will be of interest to audiences in all corners, both inside and outside of the Corps of Engineers.