WAP-3E (6/23/05 version)
Effective Watershed Action Planning (WAP) And Implementation: Sustainable Components And Key Outcomes

Sustainable: Effective, Long-term NPS Coordination, Implementation and Evaluation Occurs

Sustainable components provide for the support or maintenance of, and allow the continued existence of the local planning and implementation structure. Specifically, in the watershed action planning and implementation context, sustainable means developing and maintaining local watershed organization capacity, ongoing watershed action plan implementation, and evaluation of environmental results.

A sustainable watershed organization has the structure, human and financial resources (= capacity ) to fulfill its mission on an ongoing basis (River Network). The key to watershed organization capacity building is active stakeholders who provide:

  • technical knowledge,
  • financial ability,
  • networking ability,
  • organizational skills, and
  • legitimacy (decision-makers with authority to implement recommended action items).

Key characteristics of sustainable organizations include:

  • open, flexible network with diverse stakeholder support and effective linkages to other community efforts;
  • encourages social learning;
  • establishes and nurtures fundamental organizational needs, including appropriate rules for decision-making, governance, communication, and participation;

Sustainable NPS implementation is facilitated by state endorsed watershed action plans, is on-going, and periodically evaluated and adapted, as applicable.

Key characteristics of sustainable implementation include:

  • maintenance of a watershed plan that defines what is being protected and restored, by what means, and with what resources;
  • priority watershed-based actions continuously occur, with follow-up evaluation;

Application of the sustainable component should result in the following key outcomes. The State of Ohio currently evaluates watershed action plans and implementation proposals and developed future targets accordingly.

Key outcomes: Watershed Organization

  • A strong program plan and community-supported programs;
  • A strong board or other governing body; (a group of people, meeting regularly, to make an organization work);
  • A clear structure and decision-making processes for board, staff, and volunteers;
  • Enough unrestricted income to support basic operational costs;
  • Enough funding from reliable sources to progress beyond merely staying afloat;
  • Efficient and effective administrative systems;
  • Skilled and satisfied staff excited by the mission of the organization;

Key outcomes: WAP Implementation

  • Expedited implementation of water resource improvements;
  • Local coordination of water resource issues is institutionalized;
  • Watershed Action Plans (WAPs) identify resources and institutional arrangements sufficient to foster a reasonable expectation of sustained WAP implementation;
  • Environmental results of WAP implementation actions are evaluated periodically and future implementation locations and actions are adjusted accordingly;
  • WAPs are of sufficient detail and quality that, through aggregation, Ohio NPS Program needs can be compiled.