I'm not sure what I expected this book to be, but it wasn't what I expected. The author is clearly an ecologist who has been in the business of protecting water resources, especially wetlands, in the face of development for a long time. As far as I can tell, this is a technical manual on how to do what she does for citizen amateurs.
The first part of the book is about what wetlands do and how to evaluate one. She imagines you're going out to a wetland and mapping its area of influence, its buffer, its extent, its flora and fauna, its geology. The information is really well organized. Just more umm, manual-like than I expected.
Then you have to lead a discussion of whether the development can go forward, given what you've learned. This is the hard part. She lists a bunch of really great questions you probably need to think about, then says that the answers aren't clear cut but you should at least discuss it. Ack. This was where I was hoping to learn something specific from her experience, but it isn't there at anything greater than an occasional summary remark. She tells more stories about the ridiculous questions people ask (exposing their ignorance) than she does about the answers she gave.
The final part of the book is about how hard it is to be an activist, and how you can keep your energy levels up. Really good stuff. But again, more manual-like than I expected.
So... it was a weird read. It will be a wonderful manual for people who want to be watershed protection advocated. But as a book to sit down and read, it isn't especially enjoyable. Depends what you're looking for.
I got a free copy of this from Net Galley.