Sustainable Streams and Watersheds Stewardship

Sustainable Streams and Watersheds Stewardship Extension Team: Dr. Ward, Jessica D’Ambrosio and Jonathan Witter

SUMMARY: Collaborative initiative between FABE faculty and staff and Watershed Extension education partners to develop an interdisciplinary Extension Team focused on water resources in Ohio.

SITUATION: Members of the Ohio NEMO Program and Watershed Extension educators convened in 2010 to discuss the need for a formal Extension Team devoted to water resources issues in Ohio. The consensus that arose out of those meetings establishes a need for a stream and watershed stewardship Team for three primary reasons: (1) Put a face and a name to stream and watershed stewardship within OSU Extension and the entire University; (2) Gain eminence as a leader in stream and watershed stewardship education and outreach in the state of Ohio and focus currently disparate programmatic elements toward this outcome; (3) Employ our areas of expertise to build relationships with other Extension Teams.

RESPONSE: We identified three key components of watershed and stream system stewardship (see diagram). Each member of the Streams and Watersheds Team brings with them expertise in one or more of these components. We have identified 2-3 areas of specialization under each component that encompass the expertise of the Team: Social Processes & Strategies (Human Dimensions of Watershed Management; Watershed Planning, Implementation, and Monitoring), Landscape Processes & Strategies (Urban and Agricultural Storm Water Management; Water Quantity and Quality Strategies), Stream Processes & Strategies (Geomorphology & Ecology; Nutrient Processing; Hydrology & Hydraulics).

IMPACT: Goals set forth by the Team in 2011 will work to achieve the following impacts: 1. Collaborate on Program Delivery (Educational materials, courses and training, technical assistance and consultation) 2. Promote and Facilitate Applied Scientific Research 3. Collaborate on Grant Opportunities to Fund Items 1, 2 4. Foster Better Interaction Between Water Resources Professionals 5. Team/Program Marketing and Branding 6. Develop a statewide Response Team to water resources issues (i.e., toxic algae outbreaks)