USING “SPECIAL PROJECTS” TO INVOLVE STAKEHOLDERS IN THE DOAN BROOK WATERSHED STUDY
Abstract:In early 1998, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District began a study of the Doan Brook watershed, which will be completed in mid-2000. The purpose of the Doan Brook Watershed Study is to develop a comprehensive approach for controlling wet-weather impacts to the brook. The Sewer District has only a portion of the responsibility necessary for comprehensive watershed management planning and implementation.. However, the Sewer District has gone beyond its traditional jurisdictional role to consider the impact of all potential pollution sources in the study area (i.e., Combined Sewer Overflows, Sanitary Sewer Overflows, stormwater, etc.), as well as the impact of flooding and high-velocity wet-weather flows. Ultimate recommendations of the study will involve solutions outside the Sewer Districts' jurisdiction, particularly in the areas of stormwater, floodplain, and biotic community management, and thus the Sewer District recognized the need to involve stakeholders throughout the process.
In the Scope of Work for the Watershed Study, the Sewer District set aside a 200,000 allowance to be used to perform “Special Projects”. This was viewed as a way to involve local experts, researchers, interest groups, etc., in the technical and public involvement aspects of the study. It was also viewed as a way to begin some tangible improvements to the watershed.
This paper will discuss the process used to develop the criteria for ranking special projects, the process of soliciting and actually selecting the projects to receive funding, and the results and accomplishments of the projects themselves. The Sewer District feels that this has been a unique opportunity to involve stakeholders early on and create some “ownership” in the watershed management process. It has also provided input from experts who otherwise would not have been involved in the watershed study. Some of the Special Projects provide research and public outreach that complement and expand the overall study. Other Special Projects provide tangible benefits, such as stream bank and fish population restoration.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2000-01-01
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