Reporting Change Guidance
A watershed plan should be revisited on an annual basis to see what has been accomplished. When your watershed group accomplishes a piece of the plan, celebrate and let the community know about it.
IDEM requires that all grantees implementing a watershed management plan (WMP) report any changes in the final report. The report must include an evaluation of the effectiveness of implementation efforts, results of the indicators used to measure/determine whether pollutant load reductions are being achieved, and if progress is being made toward meeting the WMP goals.
Sponsoring Organizations and Partners need to know how their efforts (volunteer time and financial contributions) made a difference. Since it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and implement a WMP, watershed groups have the responsibility to update key partners on the progress of implementing the plan.
During planning and implementation phases of a WMP, education efforts are targeted towards the entire community conveying the problems in the watershed and proposed solutions. Politicians, businesses, residents, and students will want to know if your project has improved water quality, reduced pollution run-off, changed behaviors, affected policy changes, etc. They will also want to know if more work is needed to meet the goals outlined in the plan.
In addition to identifying the audience, you’ll want to consider how you will present and report the changes. Below are a few examples of how some watershed groups reported their changes:
- Update the Action Register:
- The steering committee members essential in developing the watershed plan likely also developed the goals and objectives. Updating the action register is a detailed approach to tracking measures of success.
- Develop a Poster:
- Financial donors, grant sponsors, and volunteers are also interested in changes, but may not need a detailed action register update. A poster summarizing the changes in land use, water quality, and behaviors can be developed.
- Schedule a Meeting:
- It may be appropriate to conduct presentations to local agencies, local communities, civic groups, environmental groups, local government officials, or the private sector and summarize the progress of the project.