Watershed Planning Process

Watershed planning is a community-driven effort to identify sources of water pollution and develop solutions.

People who live in the watershed and those who use the waterways, whether for fun, for work, for feeding their family, or even for cultural and spiritual practices, have the best understanding of the health of the water. That is why it is crucial to involve the community in creating a watershed plan. Everyone with a stake in the watershed has a voice in the creation of the plan. How has the river changed over time? What do you want it to look like in the future? Which areas should be restored first? Which solutions are preferred? Stakeholder input is key to creating a vision for the watershed that works for everybody in the community.

What are the steps of a watershed plan?

Watershed plans contain nine essential elements:


  1. IDENTIFY POLLUTANT SOURCES

  2. DESCRIBE MANAGEMENT MEASURES

  3. ESTIMATE LOAD REDUCTIONS

  4. IDENTIFY FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

  5. OUTLINE EDUCATION AND OUTREACH

  6. SET IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE

  7. SET MEASURABLE MILESTONES

  8. ESTABLISH EVALUATION CRITERIA

  9. OUTLINE MONITORING STRATEGY

Photo by A. Locatis Prochaska

Goal

The ultimate goal of this planning effort is to create a roadmap the community can use to reduce bacteria and turbidity pollution so that all waterways within the watershed can be enjoyed for recreation, navigation, and shellfish harvest.

Timeline

The process will begin in June, 2020 and is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Final product

The final watershed plan will be submitted to SC DHEC for approval upon completion of the project. With a DHEC-approved watershed plan in hand, interested organizations may be eligible to apply for grant funding to implement recommended practices within the watershed. You can view examples of completed plans at the SCDHEC website.