Watershed Planning Process
Watershed planning is a community-driven effort to identify sources of water pollution and develop solutions.
What are the steps of a watershed plan?
All watershed plans address nine required elements:
Identify pollution sources
Describe management measures
Estimate pollution load reductions if plan is implemented
Identify financial and technical assistance to implement plan
Outline needed outreach and education efforts
Set a timeline for implementing the plan
Set measurable milestones
Establish evaluation criteria to determine if efforts are succssfull
Develop a water quality monitoring strategy
What is the goal of the watershed plan?
Developed with input from residents and community partners, the goal of the Edisto Island Watershed plan is:
To reduce the total number of bacteria and turbidity impairments across the watershed, and reopen shellfish beds to harvest.
If successful, implementation of the watershed plan will result in fewer impaired locations, and fewer shellfish beds designated as restricted and prohibited.
What is the timeline for implementation?
The watershed plan was developed between May 2020 and December 2022. The next steps involve conducting outreach and education, and seeking funding to implement the key recommendations of the plan. The watershed plan includes a list of priority actions and supplemental actions; initiating and completing these will be a multi-year process. Even when recommendations are implemented, it can still take several years to detect improvements in water quality.
Are there any success stories across South Carolina?
Yes! The good news is that there are other watersheds across South Carolina that developed watershed plans, and implemented recommendations. Some of these watersheds had similar bacteria and turbidity issues, and were eventually able to remove impairments and reopen shellfish beds to harvest. You can view examples of completed plans on the SCDHEC website, and click on the images below to read about several success stories.