Effective watershed management begins with planning, which itself must have a solid, scientifically developed base of water monitoring and testing results. The Watershed Management Division’s perspective is that science and monitoring should be closely integrated into watershed plans and water management policy. Sound scientific data, tools, and analytical techniques should be included in an iterative planning and decision making process.
The Division’s “Tactical Basin Planning” process provides exactly this; a means for coordinating and integrating the science, programs, tools and resources of multiple stakeholder groups to better protect, maintain enhance and restore the ecological structure and function of watersheds and support the sustainable uses of watersheds. Each Tactical Basin Plan will include an Implementation Table that lays out broad objectives for this effort, and specific actions to achieve the stated objectives. During the plan development process, the list of action items expands based on input from agency staff and watershed partners, and is later prioritized based on the staff and financial resources available to implement the activity. Action items include water testing and assessment efforts as well as specific implementation activities (such as backroad fixes, low impact development efforts, or many other types of efforts). The action items are intended to be accomplished within the next two to five years from plan issuance. Action items reflect the primary goals and objectives identified in the Vermont Surface Water Management Strategy.
See yourself and your organization in this process! In order to maximize collaboration with partners and programs in this process, we are seeking enhanced coordination and direct participation from you and your organization. If we are successful in enhancing coordination and consensus among state programs and other stakeholder groups to improve understanding of watershed ecosystems, then we will be effective in the following ways:
- More direct focus on the resource to be protected, tailored to basin-specific stressors and conditions that are germane to that basin and sub-basins.
- Coordination among programs and agencies that perform similar duties, thereby making technical assistance and available funding a more efficient and predictable process.
- Improved capabilities to address complex environmental issues that cross agencies’ jurisdictions.
- Improved basis for management decisions and funding as better coordination of monitoring is established and more information on critical projects is gathered on a specific basin.
- Consistency and continuity is encouraged as an initial framework is prepared and applied to all basins and sub-basins in a systematic and sequential (rotational) fashion.
- Opportunities for enhanced data sharing as agencies and organizations improve communication and coordination.
- Encouragement of innovative solutions with input from the various stakeholders and partners.