WAP-4G (6/23/05 version)
Watershed Action Planning And Implementation: "As Is" Situation, NPS Implementation Evaluations

The state endorsed comprehensive watershed action plan is relatively new in the State of Ohio. The first round of 18 state sponsored watershed coordinator grants was awarded in 2000 and draft plan submissions from these efforts began in December 2002. As of February 2005, nine have been fully or conditionally endorsed, five are in the watershed action plan review process and four plans remain to be submitted.

Because this approach is new, to date the same tools have been used to evaluate each of the three core components of state sponsored watershed action planning and implementation: science-based, community-led, and sustainable. Specifically, state review of semi-annual technical reports and quarterly fiscal reports are the basis for project payments during the three year grant agreement period. Annual project site visits are the basis for overall project evaluation. "Success" is defined as timely report submittal and no delays in project payments; and 75% of all active state funded implementation projects receive an annual project site visit with accompanying report from the State of Ohio.

The key evaluation components of the annual project site visit include:

  • Schedule, progress, and status of grant deliverables;
  • Review of local financial tracking and management, particularly compliance with federal regulations, local match accounting, sub-contracts, basis for project payments, and other key fiscal management topics;
  • Field visits to NPS Management Practice (MP) implementation sites;
  • Identification of target NPS implementation areas, target audiences within those areas, and marketing/education strategies to promote implementation;
  • Frequency, content, and outcomes from local and technical advisory committee meetings;
  • Response of local community to NPS implementation opportunities;

More specific project evaluations occur outside of annual implementation project site visits, as applicable. These include:

  • Annual MP status checks are conducted at a subset (~25 locations) of 319 implementation projects implemented within the past 5-7 years. Evaluation components (PDF 71kb) include physical status, maintenance history, and design life;
  • Loading reductions and/or amount of habitat restored/protected for 319 Implementation projects;
  • Quality Assurance Practice Plan (QAPP) review and approval;
  • Sub-contractual review and approval;
  • Review and confirmation of environmental assessments and detailed design and specifications for Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) remediation projects;
  • Review and confirmation of MP ranking systems for prioritizing cost-share payments;
  • Periodic Ohio EPA monitoring & assessment
  • Funding local watershed monitoring & assessment.