Watershed plans are used to strategically identify areas to improve, protect and preserve a watershed.
These plans can identify areas for water quality monitoring, watershed restoration projects and best management practice (BMP) implementation. This allows for the most practical and well-organized use of resources.
Local planning initiatives typically tackle problems or seek to improve quality of life. Watershed planning is no different. Some watershed plans are developed to address continuing watershed issues, like degrading fish habitat. Others seek to address severe pollution problems, like abandoned mine drainage or heavy sediment pollution.
Why Are Watershed Plans Important?
Everyone lives in a watershed. Components of a watershed, such as landscape, water quality, plants and animals, shape human interaction with nature. Knowing a watershed means learning the natural processes working within its boundaries.
Careful watershed planning does more than protect water. Watershed plans can improve or preserve landscapes, reduce flooding and unite a community to work together for environmental improvements.
Steps in the Watershed Planning Process:
- Build partnerships
- Characterize the watershed
- Finalize goals and identify solutions
- Design an implementation program
- Implement the watershed plan
- Measure progress and make adjustments