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Watershed Management : Case Studies   

Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA)
Land conservation using multi-stakeholder consensus based negotiations related to a re-licensing process for 4 hydroelectric dams and associated reservoirs. Project objectives were to resolve the jurisdictional issue as mandated by FERC, conserve 10,000 acres of land, mitigate the effects of continued dam operation, restore flow rates, create a biological corridor and restore fish population/habitat.

Applications of Alabama Water Watch Data for Watershed Management

Alabama Water Watch began in 1992 and has conducted more than 1,000 workshops in nine levels of physical, chemical and biological monitoring for about 4,000 citizen volunteers.  Monitors have cumulatively submitted over 40,000 data records from 1,800 sites on 700 waterbodies using EPA-approved protocols.  About 80 percent of data records are currently entered by monitors into a customized database via the Internet and all data may be accessed, analyzed, mapped and graphed online by the general public.

There are three ways in which AWW data have been used for watershed management:
1) solving water quality problems at the local level through education, neighbor-to-neighbor persuasion and local ordinances, 2) adding or removing streams from the 303(d) list, developing TMDLs and including the data in the 305(b) report to Congress by the state regulatory agency, and 3) development of watershed management plans on various scales by stakeholder groups.  Most AWW monitors do not seem to be deterred by the slow pace of using their data for watershed improvements, and about 80 citizen groups consistently test water because it is “the right thing to do,” personally enriching and enjoyable.

Conserving Watershed Through the Forest Legacy Program

The Forest Legacy Program was established in 1990 to ascertain and protect environmentally important forest areas that are threatened by conversion to non-forest uses, and to promote the long-term sustainability of forest lands.  Most Southern States elected to join the program in the last five years and will hold title to lands and conservation easements purchased with these funds.  States and non federal partners commit to a 25% non federal cost share on each project.

Priority is given to conserve lands that can be effectively managed as working forests.  A goal of the Forest Legacy Program is to contribute to watershed based efforts to protect important private forests.  Thus many projects focus on riparian areas, forested wetlands, shorelines, and riverine systems.  Individual projects that center on watershed values will be discussed in this session.

• South Carolina Cooper River Corridor
• Town Creek Initiative, North Carolina
• Newnan’s Lake, Florida

Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management
Delta Farmers Advocating Resource Management (Delta F.A.R.M.) began in 1998 through the combined efforts of producers, sponsors, and partner agencies, to assist farmers and landowners in the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the Northwest Mississippi Delta region.  The program aims to conserve water and reduce nonpoint source pollution from agriculture and to conserve, restore, and enhance the environment of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta.  Delta F.A.R.M. provides its members with technical information on conservation practices and promotes the members’ current conservation efforts.

Environmentally Endangered Land Program

In 1990, Miami-Dade County voters approved a 2-year ad valorem tax for a 2-year period from 1990 to 1992 to fund acquisition, protection, and maintenance of environmentally endangered lands and wetlands.  A total of $90 million was raised for land acquisition.  The county established an Environmentally Endangered Land (EEL) program to administer the funds.  EEL is administered by the county’s Department of Environmental Resources Management.

EPA 319 Nonpoint Source Success Story
Batie Creek was listed on Virginia's 303(d) list of impaired waters in 1998. The creek was listed because of low dissolved oxygen levels, caused by inflows of anoxic leachate due to a lumber company's improper disposal of sawdust. The low dissolved oxygen levels negatively affected a population of endangered cave isopods (a type of crustacean) in Batie Creek's headwaters. With help from an array of partners, led by the section 319-funded Karst Program of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage, the company removed and reused most of the decomposing sawdust. Dissolved oxygen levels have rebounded, prompting the removal of Batie Creek from the impaired waters list in 2006. Click here to read the entire story.

Fairfax ReLeaf
Fairfax ReLeaf is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to planting and preserving trees, restoring habitat, and improving community appearance on public lands in Northern Virginia.  Fairfax ReLeaf aims to improve degraded landscapes and reforest urban areas of Virginia through various programs and community involvement.  The organization takes advantage of the many economic and environmental benefits that trees provide.

Greenprint Georgia: Hall County

The Greenprint Georgia program is an innovative way to help local governments protect their critical natural and cultural resources and build enduring, prosperous communities.  The program is currently working in several counties throughout the state. In Hall County for example, Trust for Public Land helped to initiate a series of public meetings that resulted in the development of a vision map, helped the county government apply for funding from the Georgia Community Greenspace Program, and continues to acquire and convey to the county properties such as Williams Mill in Hall County.

Indian River Lagoon Blueway

In the early 1990s, Indian River Lagoon's six counties (Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach) and two water management districts, with the cooperation of the National Estuary Program (NEP), jointly developed a broad proposal for CARL state funding to create an Indian River Lagoon Blueway. Through acquisition of almost 9,000 acres of wetlands and uplands, including 626 parcels in 45 targeted areas, Blueway lands would connect with other public lands to form a natural buffer corridor along the lagoon.  The NEP's Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Indian River Lagoon notes that such a program "will be a critical step toward protection, preservation, and restoration of the integrity, productivity, and biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon's resources for this and future generations."

Kershaw County, SC is a national model for river protection
From American Rivers: Kershaw County, SC is taking bold steps to protect its clean water with their new package of zoning rules a model for other counties nationwide. 

Montgomery County, MD Special Protection Areas for Streams
The streams in Montgomery County, including those found in parkland, on private property, or elsewhere in the neighborhood, are an important part of the natural resources of the county. A healthy stream provides recreational, natural, and aesthetic benefits. Over 1500 miles of streams in Montgomery County provide habitat to our rich and diverse aquatic life and water-dependent wild life. A healthy stream contributes to good drinking water and helps protect the Chesapeake Bay.

Montgomery County, MD Water Resources Plan
This report contains the text of the draft Water Resources Functional Plan (WRFP) for the Physical Development of the Maryland-Washington Regional District in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties.

North Carolina Wetlands Restoration Project (NCWRP) at Brush Creek
Project Objectives were improve water quality of micro-watershed, reduce sediment loading due to stream bank erosion, mitigate the effects of continued dam operation, reduce nutrient loading into Brush Creek through livestock exclusion, establish a woody riparian buffers and improve stream and riparian habitat of Brush Creek and its tributaries.

Preservation Project Jacksonville

In January 1999, Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney established a $312 million acquisition program called Preservation Project Jacksonville, which is designed to manage growth, preserve environmentally sensitive lands, improve water quality, and provide public access to the City of Jacksonville’s vast natural areas.  The land acquired through this program will play a crucial role in diversified urban planning in Duval County and throughout northeast Florida.

Project Harambee

Project Harambee (a Swahili word meaning "let's pull together") is a joint grassroots community effort of EarthBond and the Brown Village of the Atlanta Project to reduce pollution and increase energy and water conservation in Atlanta's Brown Village neighborhood.  The Brown Village neighborhood is one of the "clusters" that is a part of the Atlanta Project, created by former President Jimmy Carter. The Atlanta Project was created as a way to have people within the community solve the problems that concern them. Basically, the community has the ability to decide what it needs.

Reforest the Bluegrass

The Urban Forestry Program administers Chapter 17B of the Code of Ordinances: “Street Trees and Article 26 of the Zoning Ordinance-Tree Protection”, which includes the Reforest the Bluegrass program.  Started in March of 1999, its purpose is to recreate pre-settlement, streamside forests that were once native to the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky.  One major goal of the program is to have 50% forest canopy in the entire county.

Sea Islands Preservation Project
The Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia are located between the coastal estuaries of the mainland and the Atlantic Ocean.  In order to educate and train local community leaders, public officials, and landowners in strategies that will help preserve their land and the culture and environment of their communities, a rural educational center called the Penn Center, initiated the Sea Islands Preservation Project in 1992.  The program aims to create a sustainable plan for the island, which integrates economic activities with the natural environment and the community’s traditional lifestyle.

Surface Water Improvement and Management Program

The key component in Charlotte's and Mecklenburg County's efforts to restore the quality and usability of its surface water resources is the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program, which was established by the Mecklenburg County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP) in November 1995. The objective of this program is to produce measurably cleaner surface waters in Mecklenburg County and restore the usability of the area’s streams.

Urbanization and Streams EPA Case Studies
The following case studies demonstrate the impacts that increased flow due to urbanization can have on urban streams. Like urban streams, each case study is unique. The case studies look at different attributes such as habitat, stream stability, and sedimentation. In some cases, where field data did not quantify the impacts, models were applied to estimate impacts. When available, cost information related to the impacts and restoration is included. Southeast case studies include:
Holmes Run Watershed - Fairfax County/Falls Church, Virginia
Peachtree Creek - Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Metropolitan Area - Dekalb County, Georgia
Various Streams - North Carolina Piedmont

Virginia Village Productions: The Watershed Quintilogy

The Watershed Quintilogy - Digital Videos from Virginia Village Productions:  

  • On the Edge — The Potomac River Dyke Marsh
  • Reining in the Storm — One Building at a Time
  • Laying Down Roots — The Neighborhood Tree Program
  • Reclaiming Our Water — The Occoquan River Watershed
  • Reviving an Urban Stream — Four Mile Run

When a City Runs Dry, The Frederick MD Story - Chuck Boyd

Southeast and Tennessee Watershed Roundtable Presentation, 2004

As a result of unprecedented growth and inadequate tracking of water commitments, Frederick was forced to declare an 18-month moratorium on development.

Full Abstract       Download PDF (4.9 MB)

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