A watershed plan can be an elusive term - almost too big for a single document. Defined by the US EPA, a watershed plan is intended to provide both an analytic framework to restore water quality in impaired waters, as well as protect water quality in waters adversely affected or threatened by both point and non-point source pollution. This sounds quite regulatory. But a watershed plan's specificity are what gives it great potential.
A watershed plan should be a fluid document that is comprehensive first and foremost in its partnership and commitment to address the needs of a waterway and its living creatures from the bottom up. Undoubtedly, healthy, recent data sets that include stream flow, seasonal representation of water quality data, data collected in both dry and wet weather, are the greatest asset to better watershed management. Since non-point water pollution mimics land use, understanding hydrology, land use management, zoning, sewer service areas, and more also build the confidence one could have in developing a long-term strategy to protect and restore waterways.
In our efforts to further develop capacity for watershed management, the Center has been involved in several watershed plans and their implementation. As part of a land grant university working alongside large landowners, communities, and ready with testing services, the Center is seeking projects that lead to more resources, awareness, multi-partner commitment, and engaged researchers in watershed planning and implementation.
Funding for Watershed Based Plans has in the past been made available through the SC DHEC 319(h) annual funding program, administered according to the Clean Water Act. More information and funds for Watershed Plan implementation can be found at DHEC's site, http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Water/Watersheds/.