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Community-Based Watershed Management in Ohio

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  1. Community-Based Watershed Management in Ohio Watershed Workshop Morehead State University May 11, 2006 Robert McCall Dana Oleskiewicz Center at Lima Center at Wooster Educators, Watershed Management Ohio State University Extension

  2. Objectives: • Define Community-Based Watershed Management (CBWM) • Explore Two Ohio Case Studies • Tools of the Trade

  3. Water resource protection • through watershed management efforts • for the goal of high water quality • requires planning • by communities (stakeholders) • within the watershed. • a.k.a. • Community-Based Watershed Management!!

  4. A Model for Success Facilitating Agency Community-Based Watershed Management with Stakeholder Involvement Community Organization Steelman, Toddi. 1999.

  5. Implementing the W-shed Approach Build Public Support • Establish the core watershed group • Create a mission statement • Promote activities in the watershed • Recruit new stakeholders Create an Inventory Implement & Evaluate • Define the watershed • Assess the quality of the water resource • Examine the human and ecological features that affect the quality of the water resource • Measure progress • Revisit the action plan and make adjustments where needed Define the Problems • Identify the pollutants causing the problems • Identify the sources of the pollutants • Identify high quality areas to protect • Formulate a problem statement Create an Action Plan • Set priorities • Set timeframes • Assign tasks • Obtain funding Set Goals & Develop Solutions • Evaluate potential solutions for the identified problems • Set goals and measurable indicators • Select solutions that achieve goals Ohio EPA. “A Guide to Developing Local Watershed Action Plans in Ohio”. 1997.

  6. The CBWM Approach Build Public Support Create an Inventory Implement & Evaluate Define the Problems Create an Action Plan Set Goals & Develop Solutions Ohio EPA. “A Guide to Developing Local Watershed Action Plans in Ohio”. 1997.

  7. Why Community-Based? • Problems are complex • Solutions exceed capabilities of one entity • Collaborative decisions necessary • Communities have vested interest • Local people are crucial • Define workable options • Enforce management choices • Monitor the effectiveness Steelman, T.A. 1999.

  8. Social Goals • Educate and inform the general public • Incorporate public values into decisions • Improve the quality of decisions • Resolve conflict among competing interests • Build trust in institutions Beierle, T.C. & J. Cayford. 2002.

  9. Environmental Behavior Model • Entry-level - (awareness) • Ownership - (knowledge) • Empowerment - (attitude / skills) • Citizenship (Steward) Behavior - (motivation) Hungerford & Volk. 1990.

  10. CBWM and Sustainability Environmental Socio-Economic Biophysical / Ecological Quality of Life! Societal Economic Policy and Institutional

  11. Watershed Management Core Components • Science-Based – Decisions based on data • Community-Led – Stakeholders decide • Sustainable – Long-term coordination

  12. CBWM Core Components Science-Based Socio-Economic Considerations Biophysical / Ecological Considerations Effective Stakeholder Participation Community-Led Sustainable Policy and Institutional Considerations

  13. Implementation Continuum Water Quality Attainment Drinking Water Protection 5. Sustained implementation of endorsed WAP 4. WAP receives state endorsement 3. Group develops Watershed Action Plan 2. Coordinated, issue-based local group forms 1. Local water resource advocate / steward

  14. Resources Delivered Developing CapacityResources Needed • People - Staff • Technical - Knowledge • Financial - Money • Networking - Partnerships • Organizational - Efficiency • Legitimacy - Good Representation Stakeholders! Steelman, Toddi. 1999.

  15. Management Challenges • Low stakeholder involvement • Lack of local ownership • Planning at too great a scale • One-time study, not long-term management • Land use issues not addressed • Document too long or complex • Recommendations were too general Center for Watershed Protection (

  16. Successful Watershed Management = • Strong Community-Based Effort • (Stakeholders) • + • Good Partnership-Building • (Buy-In) • + • Effective and Collaborative • Environmental Decision-Making • (Best Management Practices)

  17. Case Study Watersheds

  18. Case Study #1 Blanchard River Watershed Partnership

  19. Blanchard River Watershed PartnershipStakeholders to date • City • Reg. Plan. Comm. • Utilities Director • W W Treatment Plant • County Engineering • Civic Groups • Regional • RC&D • OSU Extension • ODNR • Ohio EPA • Non-profit orgs. County Commissioners Engineering Extension Farm Bureau Regional Planning Parks District SWCD Farm Service Agency Dept. of Health & Human Services Township Trustees Industry Consultants General Public

  20. Blanchard River Watershed PartnershipIssues of Public Concern Ottawa, Ohio (04/20/04Water velocity, erosion and sedimentation Flooding Drinking water quality Recreation Septic discharge Fertilizer use Maintaining drainage for agr. production • Bluffton, Ohio (04/28/04) • Get youth interested and involved in the basin • Water quality and run-off • Local ditching projects, removal of Riparian area • Erosion and sedimentation • Flooding and results of flooding • Water and smart growth and its effects • Non-point source pollution

  21. Blanchard River Watershed CouncilIssues of Public Concern Findlay, Ohio (03/29/04) HSTS Plans Sedimentation in waterways Sustainable development Flooding and drainage Agricultural run-off River water quality impacts on reservoir Treatment costs for drinking water Quantity and quality of water resources Flow management and drainage • Stream bank erosion • Total maximum daily load (TMDL = OEPA Assmnt.) • Flooding and water quality • Loss of wetlands • Riparian habitat, wetlands and water quality • Stakeholder driven solutions and watershed planning • Recreation (fishing, canoeing, wildlife habitat)

  22. BRWP: Where are they now? • Working on watershed inventory • Reviewing 501c3 options • Soliciting sponsors for a Watershed Coordinator Grant

  23. Sub W-S #1 Sub W-S #2 Sub W-S #3 Sub W-S #4 Sub W-S #5 Sub W-S #6 Potential Organizational Development Model Steering Committee Project Sponsor: Funding & administrative support. Staff: Coordinator Interns? Supp. Staff? Executive Committee Standing Committees under the Steering Committee, including the Executive Committee Marketing & Communication Development & Fundraising Stream Flow & Habitat Membership Water Wastewater Agriculture Education Watershed Action Plans to work on.

  24. Current Organizational Development Model Steering Committee Project Sponsor: Funding & administrative support. Staff: Coordinator Interns? Supp. Staff? Executive Committee Standing Committees under the Steering Committee, including the Executive Committee Marketing & Communication Development & Fundraising Stream Flow & Habitat Outreach/Ed./Membership Agriculture Water/Wastewater Currently gathering watershed assessment information for the entire watershed

  25. Coordinator Sponsor Survey? • Fiscal capabilities • Adm. Support • Technical Support • Housing • Equipment • Overhead • Experience with NP, PS, Pr S.

  26. Case Study #2 Sugar Creek Watershed Partnership



  29. SUGAR CREEK FARMER TEAMS UPPER SC Self selected group of neighbors PARTICIPATORY TEAMS IN SUBWATERSHEDS --Joint buffer by neighbors --Hot Spots LITTLE SC No group yet but likely --Kingsway C.S. --DOT wetlands/30 BYPASS --Troyers --Amish/non Amish tributary joint action --Amish marketing coop --Kidron Drinking Water NORTH FORK Task Force of Leading Citizens --temporary livestock exclusion --Amish marketing coop --Interest in septic systems SOUTH FORK Farmerstown South Church District / Maple Grove School

  30. BUILDING COMMUNITY • Summer 2000 - Low trust in EPA • Fall 2000 - Desire to be good stewards • Winter 2001 - Joint reconnaissance mission by farmer and researchers • 2001-2002 - Collect own data and inquiry • Summer 2001 - Approve EPA grant proposal • Summer 2002 - Invite EPA on Stream Walk

  31. SOCIAL INDICATORSAccording to Farmer Team • Decision to be good land/water stewards • Regardless of EPA data • Realize their inquiries have scientific merit • Request samples for specific questions • Neighbors chosen for purposeful action • “hot spot” approach • Smithville Town Council involved Decisions and Actions

  32. SOCIAL INDICATORSAccording to Farmer Team • Letters to neighbors • Going out to lunch together for first time • Dreaming about a buffer hunting zone • Talking about project at high school games • First farm family to put in a riparian buffer Unity, Significance, and Purpose

  33. CASE STUDY Richard H. Moore, Associate Professor Human and Community Resource Development. Ohio State University. (

  34. Sugar Creek Method: • Focus on headwaters and benchmark water quality • Treat each stream as unique • Survey community values, concerns, and aspirations • Catalyze local level participatory learning • Collaborate with downstream teams • Build on “healthy environment, healthy people” • Seek to find suitable methods of protection

  35. Tools for Watershed Action Planning

  36. Tools for Stakeholder Involvement • Conduct a thorough search for stakeholders • Build relationships and make it fun • Employ conflict resolution • Remain vigilant and get organized • Remember – calendars and “to do” lists!

  37. Tools for Stakeholder Involvement Community Invitees • Building & Development • Community Services • Economic Development • Health Department • Land Records & Property Transfers • Libraries • Mapping & Geographic Information • Parks and Recreation • Planning & Zoning • School Boards • Social Services • Tourism Board • Water & Sewer Services MacPherson & Tonning, Tetra Tech, Inc.

  38. Dept. of Transportation Civic Organizations Religious Groups Rec. Organizations Historical / Cultural Associations Business Organizations Financial Institutions Home Associations Realtors Political Organizations Parent-Teacher Associations Major Landowners Tools for Stakeholder Involvement Community Invitees

  39. Tools for Stakeholder Involvement • Make the invitation - direct ask and early on • Distribute the materials - widely cast the net • Know the audience - carefully craft the message • Understand their needs - address their concerns • Continue to inform - don’t give up • Create the forum - make it easy!

  40. Tools for Stakeholder Input The Meeting Goal – Inform the community, garner trust, and collect opinions Challenge – To gather a crowd and be efficient • Communicate clearly and often • Call meetings only when necessary • Use collaborative processes and good facilitation • Provide advanced notice and prior written information • Develop a strong agenda and employ time management

  41. Tools for Stakeholder Input The Interview Goal – Better understand the community and build relations Challenge – Is time-intensive • Reach the un-reached audiences • Be strategic in selecting interviewees • Begin with good questions • Avoid responsive body language or comments • End with “Do you have anything else to say?” • Record and transcribe interviews with paraphrasing

  42. Tools for Stakeholder Input The Exercises Goal – Gather the wants and needs of the community Challenge – Make it effective and informative • “Brainstorm” on problems and possible solutions • Use “Vision to Action” to move group agenda forward • Employ “Group Discussion” to record audience thoughts • Create and send a “Survey” for quantitative information • Present a “Dot Matrix” to prioritize issues • Appreciative Inquiry Process to avoid negative focus

  43. Tools for Success • Make it exciting and worthwhile • Plan for results • Manage the process effectively • Involve stakeholders as soon as possible • Be honest and listen carefully • Recognize differences early on • Don’t leave out difficult stakeholders MacPherson & Tonning, Tetra Tech, Inc.

  44. Tools for Success • Set realistic goals • Focus on their issues • Establish mini-milestones to celebrate • Give feedback and praise • Commit the needed resources to succeed

  45. Tools for the Organization • Effective organizational by-laws • Efficient working structure • Good accounting and tax reporting practices • Annual strategic planning • Regular Board trainings • Continually cultivate a new workforce • Celebrate successes and hold social activities!

  46. Tools on the Internet • Ohio State University Extension • Ohio Watershed Network( • Ohio Watershed Academy( • 16 On-Line Modules to choose from • Ohioline Factsheets( • Ohio EPA • Ohio NPS Plan( • Ohio Department of Natural Resources • Coastal NPS(

  47. Tools on the Internet • US EPA • National TMDL Program( • National Watershed Program(

  48. References Beierle, T.C. and J. Cayford, 2002. “ Democracy in Practice: Public Participation in Environmental Decisions.” Resources for the Future: Washington, D.C. Hungerford, H.R. and Volk, T.L. 1990. “Changing learner behavior through environmental education.” The Journal of Environmental Education. 21(3), 8-22. Kenney, D.S. and W.B. Lord. 1999. “Analysis of Institutional Innovation in the Natural Resources and Environmental Realm: The Emergence of Alternative Problem Solving Strategies in the American West.” Research Report (RR-21). Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado School of Law: Boulder, CO. MacPherson, C. and B. Tonning. “Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed.” Tetra Tech, Inc. Steelman, T.A.. 1999. “Community-Based Environmental Management: Agency- and Community-Driven Efforts.” Presented at the 21st Annual Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado: Boulder, CO.