Organize a Watershed Partnership
The extensive problems of contaminated AMD from abandoned mines far outweigh the limited resources and regulatory authority that are available to agency staff to tackle this problem alone.
Cleaning up AMD from abandoned mining sites requires citizens, business and industry representatives, agency staffs, and the research community to work cooperatively and collaboratively.
Where dedicated, committed citizens-and the local groups they represent-have joined with government researchers and commercial interests in battling AMD, real progress has been achieved.
What Is Happening in Your Watershed?
If you can answer "not much," maybe YOU should consider providing the spark. Chances are, others in your area feel the same way you do about the problems in your creeks and rivers. They are probably just like you-waiting for someone to take the lead. While government personnel can help to involve their agencies and leverage funding, the "spark" for many clean-up projects has come
Messages can range from public education (e.g., the estimated impact AMD is having on recreational opportunities in the area) to solicitations for attendance and involvement at meetings or special events.
Keep the effort in the public eye to help keep your partners motivated and bring new members into the process. You want to reach as many people with your information with as much frequency as possible to achieve the desired results, whether your objectives are increased attendance at your meetings, elevated knowledge of AMD and clean-up methods, or additional funding for your project A well-conceived, carefully planned step-by-step approach to outreach in your watershed will generate interest and increase participation in your efforts.
Finally, remember that your primary goal is to clean up the water. It is easy to find fault with what was done (or not done) in the past, but rehashing history often does not translate into positive action in the present or future. Keep the focus on the work necessary to accomplish your objectives.
How to Form Your Own Watershed Organization in Pennsylvania This informative booklet details the steps needed to take a group of concerned citizens and turn them into an actual watershed conservation organization. A 20 minute video tape is also included. POWR website for ordering.
DEP Top Ten Tips For Watershed Organizations Fact Sheet
Suggestions of Fifteen Things You Can Do to Make a Difference in Your Watershed offered by EPA OWOW.
Watershed Fact Sheets From DEP (PDF)
List of Media Contacts by County from the PA Manual (PDF)
The Getting in Step guidebook and web-based training provides some of the tools you will need to develop and implement an effective watershed outreach plan. If you're a watershed practitioner trained in the sciences, this manual will help you address public perceptions, promote management activities, and inform or motivate stakeholders.... offered by EPA OWOW