The authors are pleased to submit the enclosed Clean Water Action Plan on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the other federal agencies that assisted us in its development. Over the past 25 years, America has made outstanding progress in reducing water pollution and restoring our rivers, lakes and coastal waters. In communities across the country, restoration of water quality has had dramatic environmental, recreational, and economic benefits. Despite this progress, serious water pollution problems persist. States report that about 40 percent of the waters they assessed do not meet water quality goals. About half of the nation's over 2,000 major watersheds have serious or moderate water quality problems. This Clean Water Action Plan provides a blueprint for restoring and protecting the nation's precious water resources. A key element in the Action Plan is a new cooperative approach to watershed protection in which state, tribal, federal, and local governments, and the public first identify the watersheds with the most critical water quality problems and then work together to focus resources and implement effective strategies to solve those problems. The Action Plan also includes a new initiatives to reduce public health threats, improve the stewardship of natural resources, strengthen polluted runoff controls, and make water quality information more accessible to the public.