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WATERSHEDS OF A LAST GREAT PLACE A replicable watershed project model

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The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System (UConn CES) has been working with communities in the Lower Connecticut River Watershed designing and testing a watershed program that is replicable throughout the four state Connecticut River Watershed and for use throughout the country. This model is a coordinated effort between UConn CES Forest Stewardship Program, the UConn CES Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Project, the Sea Grant Clean Waters Program, and a number of partnering organizations. Locally led Watershed Committees have strengthened the partnerships in the project, while providing invaluable local perspective, and taking information and increased knowledge and awareness back into their communities. For a watershed scale natural resource-based educational project focusing on water quality to be effective it must involve both the local land-use decision-makers and the people who own the bulk of the land which protects that water resource. In the Project watersheds these are the non-industrial private forest landowners and riparian property owners. The multi-faceted approach designed to reach these audiences and the general public includes:

The establishment of project identity and recognition.

Formation of an advisory committee including private and public participants.

Identification of desired outcomes.

Survey instruments to assess existing knowledge.

Promotional, informational, and educational materials including literature, video, and web site.

Resource inventory tools, including remotely sensed data and GIS, applied on both a watershed and private property scale.

Educational techniques including workshops and field days.

Assessment tools for measuring success.

Plans for follow-up and continuation.

The model draws upon the experience of, and techniques developed by, Cooperative Extension's NEMO Program, working with land use and municipal decision-makers. In addition, information developed from the outreach campaign for Non-Industrial Private Forest Landowners provides the basis for other portions of the model. The model is a comprehensive outline for the information and educational strategies necessary to establish the groundwork for such plans.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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