Maintaining Your Effort
By this point, you should have a good idea of how to organize your project, educate the public, assess your watershed, analyze clean-up options, prioritize remediation projects, seek funding support, and begin work. As your project unfolds, remember that you're in this for the long haul. Once the clean-up work has begun, it will be necessary to monitor both the installed treatment systems and the quality of the water they were designed to improve. Developing post-clean-up monitoring plans for the installations and the water bodies involved will ensure that you can quickly identify any problems with the treatment systems, and specifically measure the success of your efforts. Establishing your volunteer water monitoring program as a permanent part of environmental oversight in your watershed creates long-term interest in the quality of your rivers and streams and makes it easy to identify future problems as they arise.
Stewardship essentially begins with monitoring, since analyzing water quality provides information on how waterways are affected by land uses upstream. Recognizing that the monitoring program will serve as a focal point for long-term activities of the partnership is a vital component of watershed protection.
Share Your Experiences
As members of your partnership gain experience with project activities, consider offering outreach support to newer groups. Watershed protection partnerships are being developed across the region to deal with AMD and other pollutants, and your members can provide valuable assistance to their efforts. The experience your group has developed can help others avoid common pitfalls and provide clear direction for their efforts. Linking your group with statewide partnerships, including volunteer monitoring programs, builds strong regional organizations and helps to develop competent local affiliates as information and experience are shared.
Report your results of the assessment and clean-up from your efforts to watershed association meetings, technical meetings, state and federal water quality agencies, and scientific literature.
Check How You Are Doing
Use the checklist on the next page to track your efforts for cleaning up AMD sites. Make a copy of it to use over and over.
Checklist for Cleaning up your AMD-impacted Watershed
- Develop a watershed partnership that includes involved and affected parties to establish long-term goals, identify problems, assess problems, set priorities, correct deficiencies, and monitor results between January and April.
- Research existing data on water quality, mining activity, and other possible sources of contamination during February through May.
- Identify the specifications (pH, metal concentrations, etc.) for designation as cold water aquatic habitat and develop water monitoring program during April through June.
- Conduct field surveys, water testing and research to determine the levels of problem parameters at various points in the watershed and subwatersheds during June through September.
- Identify the segments of the affected waterways that appear to have the most significant levels of the problem parameters between August and October.
- Conduct comprehensive, site-specific follow-up field surveys to confirm earlier field results at the most significant sites during October and November.
- Assess the relative contributions of the problem sites to water quality deficiencies in the overall watershed between December of Year 1 and February of Year 2.
- Prioritize the problem sites according to their impact on water quality between March and May of Year 2.
- Assess remediation options for each site representing the most significant problems during May through August of Year 2.
- Analyze costs of each proposed remediation project and identify possible funding sources between August and December of Year 2.
- Develop funding proposals for the selected remediation projects during August of Year 2 through March of Year 3.
- Secure funding, contact installation contractors, and implement remediation projects during March through September of Year 3.
- Assess the water quality impacts of the remediation projects through the comprehensive water monitoring program both before and after remediation projects are installed.
- Conduct a vigorous program of public outreach and education throughout the entire project period.
Specific information on funding sources for watershed projects is available from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy trough their Watershed Assistance Program. Call Carla Ruddock at (724) 329-0531 for suggestions.
Five Fundraising Strategies for New Watershed Groups recommended by EPA's OWOW (Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds)
Watersheds - Potential Funding Sources for Watershed Groups DEP Fact Sheet
A wealth of good advice is found in the River Network's Fundraising Alert. You'll also find links to other funding-oriented websites. Listed below are selected links from that site.
Interactive Knowledge for Nonprofits Worldwide
This web site is managed and maintained by Raffa
& Associates, P.C. This web directory provides a substantial number of
excellent links to topics such as Fundraising, Strategic Planning, Volunteerism,
Human Resources, Legal Issues, Internet Resources and Technology, Education,
Governance and other topics essential to nonprofit management.
Environmental Protection Agency: Grant Writing Tutorial
This site is for environmental professionals,
small business, small communities, teachers and anyone applying for an EPA
grant. The tutorial, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and Purdue
University guides grantseekers through the components of an effective grant
proposal. It offers advice on proposal writing, examples of successful grant
applications, and writing exercises. It also describes three EPA grant programs,
Environmental Education, Environmental Justice, and Environmental Justice
Through Pollution Prevention, and how to apply for them.
The Local Government Environmental Assistance Network (LGEAN) is a "first-stop shop" providing environmental management, planning, funding, and regulatory information for local government elected and appointed officials, managers and staff. Located at http://www.lgean.org, LGEAN enables local officials to interact with their peers and others online. In an effort to reach all local governments, LGEAN also manages a toll-free telephone service (877/865-4326).