Our nation’s network of rivers, lakes and streams originates from a myriad of small streams and wetlands, many so small they do not appear on any map. Yet these headwater streams and wetlands exert critical inﬂuences on the character and quality of downstream waters. The natural processes that occur in such headwater systems beneﬁt humans by mitigating ﬂooding, maintaining water quality and quantity, recycling nutrients, and providing habitat for plants and animals. This paper summarizes the scientiﬁc basis for understanding that the health and productivity of rivers and lakes depends upon intact small streams and wetlands.
Meyer, J. L., L. A. Kaplan, J. D. Newbold, D. L. Strayer, C. J. Woltemade, J. B. Zedler, R. Beilfuss, Q. Carpenter, R. Semlitsch, M.C. Watzin, and P. H. Zedler (2003): Where rivers are born: The scientific imperative for defending small streams and wetlands. Sierra Club and American Rivers.
Where Rivers Are Born
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