Wetlands are impacted by land use activities that occur in or near wetlands, and within the watersheds that drain to them. Historically, wetland impacts have been regulated on a site-by-site basis by federal and state authorities. However, local governments have a very important role to play in wetland protection because they are responsible for the land use decisions that can impact wetlands, and can take a proactive approach that extends beyond individual sites to include the larger watershed. In addition, local governments can protect small or isolated wetlands or other natural resources that might not be regulated under the federal and state permitting programs. Impacts to wetlands can greatly affect watershed health because wetlands are such an integral part of watershed hydrology, and provide many watershed benefits, such as pollutant removal, flood storage, erosion control, wildlife habitat, and groundwater recharge.