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Example watershed handout depicting characteristics of the watershed and the current state of restoration efforts.

Lack of communication can impede participation and reduce the likelihood of successful implementation. Watershed report cards are a great way to get the word out.

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Step 6: Measure Progress and Make Adjustments (cont.)

Share Results
As part of the I/E program you developed, you should have included opportunities to publicize the plan to increase awareness of the steps being taken during implementation. Continuous communication is essential to building the credibility of and support for the watershed implementation process. This is especially critical if you’re using a stakeholder-driven process. Transparency of the process builds trust and confidence in the outcome. Regular communication also helps to strengthen accountability among watershed partners by keeping them actively engaged and might also stimulate more stakeholders to get involved in the effort.

Sharing results can also help to ensure more consistent watershed approaches across subwatersheds. Regularly reporting information can also help to keep you accountable to stakeholders who have a vested interest in the success of the project. You should provide information on interim results and report the ways in which the plan is working and how you plan to address the deficiencies. Encourage stakeholders to contribute ideas on how to make improvements.

Progress and implementation results can be shared through various media formats, such as press releases, ads in local newspapers, television or radio public service announcements, or presentations at community meetings such as those of homeowner associations and local civic organizations, PTA meetings, or other gatherings of members of the watershed community. The group might wish to issue a watershed report card or develop a fact sheet, brochure or annual report to highlight its successes. Report cards let the community know whether water quality conditions are improving overall. They also allow people to compare results across specific areas to see if things are improving, whether some aspects seem to be connected and whether a change in direction is needed to bring about greater improvements. This is an effective way to build awareness of the watershed issues and the progress of watershed plan implementation. In addition, when people see progress, they’ll continue to work toward making the plan a success!

Make Adjustments

  • Ask questions.
  • Incorporate feedback and adjust you plan.
  • Develop discrete opportunities to adjust the plan (i.e., a 6-month review).

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Section 42 of 43