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5.3 – Education and Outreach

Management Measure

Implement educational programs that:

  1. Provide a greater understanding of watersheds.
  2. Raise awareness and increase the use of appropriate hydromodification management measures and practices.
  3. Promote projects that retain and/or reestablish natural hydrologic functions and maintain stream equilibrium, as appropriate for the watershed.

Public education, outreach, and training programs should involve applicable user groups and the community.

Management Practices

  • Focus on the development and implementation of pollution prevention and education programs for agency staff and the public.
  • Develop assistance tools that emphasize conservation, protection, restoration, and construction of green infrastructure (including low impact development).
  • Promote projects that reduce NPS pollution at its source, retain or reestablish natural hydrologic regimes, and/or prevent or remedy adverse effects of hydromodification activities.

Programs

  • CSUMB, Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project (RON) Restoration Education Project is a project of Creative Environmental Conservation, a 501©3 nonprofit. It is the education and outreach branch of the Watershed Institute of the California State University Monterey Bay. RON is a community- and school-based environmental education project dedicated to involving students (kindergarten through university) in native plant and habitat restoration projects in the schoolyard and the community.
  • Adopt-A-Watershed is a K-12 school-community learning experience. Adopt-A-Watershed uses a local watershed as a living laboratory in which students engage in hands-on activities, making science applicable and relevant to their lives. It develops collaborative partnerships and reinforces learning through community service.
  • Orange County Watershed and Coastal Resources Division is progressively developing materials to better inform the public about the services that are provided. It also offers and encourages ways for the public to get involved.
  • Clean Water Team Citizen Monitoring Program is part of the SWRCB’s NPS Pollution Control Program. Regional coordinators provide technical assistance, training, data management consultation, outreach, and education to citizen monitoring organizations. The program provides an opportunity for the public to participate in stewardship efforts and learn about the issues facing their local watersheds.

Information Resources

  • University of Wisconsin Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Best Education Practices Project helps natural resource management and outreach professionals to choose appropriate education techniques and resources for their water management programs. The Best Education Practices project will work in collaboration with the federal agency clean and safe water partnership and other networks to develop and promote best education practices for water education and to improve access to education resources and strategies. Project activities reflect advice provided by federal agency clean and safe water partners and a national network of water education organizations created and supported by the work of several national organizations over the last decade. Projects have included a 2002 Study of Provider Needs, Model Education Technique, a literature search, Best Education Practices Pilot Web site, and other reference materials related to water outreach education.
  • Arroyo Seco Foundation works to protect and restore the Arroyo Seco watershed, which is part of the Los Angeles River watershed. The foundation also promotes environmental awareness and education.
  • Association of Wetland Managers, Wetlands Outreach: Getting the Message Out-New Techniques and New Partners for the Millennium is a synthesis of two days of discussion on wetland outreach among 45 wetland outreach professionals from around the country. Participants included representatives from state, federal, and local governments as well as not-for-profit organizations.
  • California Coastal Commission’s New Science Activity Guide: Waves, Wetlands, and Watersheds is a classroom and community activity guide that addresses issues such as endangered species, marine debris, coastal geology, water use, and much more. It is carefully aligned to the California State Science Content Standards for grades 3 through 8, and includes "Community Action" lessons adaptable to all ages up to and beyond grade 12. The guide is available for free from the California Coastal Commission.
  • California Regional Environmental Education Community is an online network is a source of environmental education resources, with links to curriculum and a statewide searchable research directory.
  • USEPA, Volunteer Stream Monitoring: A Methods Manual this guide discusses volunteer stream monitoring in terms of its role in state monitoring programs, and provides information on how to organize, implement, and maintain volunteer programs. Instream physical, chemical, and biological assessments are covered, as well as land use or watershed assessments.
  • USEPA Watershed Academy offers 50 self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field. The module themes include introduction/overview, watershed ecology, watershed change, analysis and planning, management practices, and community/social/water law. Several wetland-related modules are available, including "Stream Corridor Restoration Tools", "Restoration: What’s Right/Wrong With This Picture?", and "Wetland Functions and Values."
  • Council of State Governments, Getting in Step: A Guide to Effective Outreach in Your Watershed is an online training module that provides guidance on the development of an outreach program. Downloadable worksheets are provided for use in the planning process.
  • Adopt-A-Stream Foundation, based in Washington, travels to communities around the country to provide education and outreach for students, professionals, and government officials.
  • CSUMB, Watershed Institute, consists of a direct action community-based coalition of researchers, restoration ecologist, educators, planners, students, and volunteers. The Web site offers links to watershed-related publications, courses, watershed studies, the Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project, and the Bureau of Land Management’s Watershed and Riparian Assessment Report.

References

USEPA. 2007. National Management Measures Guidance to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Hydromodification. EPA 841-B-07-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. (http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/hydromod/index.htm)