CWP releases Smart Watershed Benchmarking Tool

Using lessons learned from around the country, this self-assessment tool developed by the Ellicott, MD-based Center for Watershed Protection helps local communities integrate and align their urban watershed programs to meet water resource goals. It's hoped the tool will help local program managers make better decisions on watershed restoration priorities to maximize performance of staff and financial resources...

ELLICOTT CITY, MD, April 20, 2006 -- Using lessons learned from around the country, this self-assessment tool developed by the Center for Watershed Protection helps local communities integrate and align their urban watershed programs to meet their water resource goals.

It's hoped that the tool will help each region's local program managers make better decisions on watershed restoration priorities to maximize the performance of staff and financial resources. Local watershed groups can also use this tool by determining how their community compares to others and work with their local governments to encourage adoption of practices that would improve scores.

This guidance document contains:
• The complete benchmarking tool with step-by-step guidance on how to complete the tool and interpret community scores;
• Detailed profile sheets that describe each of the 14 Smart Watershed programs, including a case study, tips for implementing or improving the program, and further resources and links;
• Overview of smart watershed programs, its benefits and applications for local communities; and
• Further details on restoration budgeting and adapting the tool for special community conditions.

It can be downloaded for free as a PDF after filling out a brief form, by clicking here. If you would prefer to have hard copies of the manual, please contact Jessica Ritter at jer@cwp.org or 410-461-8323 as there may be a limited amount made available for a small fee. A link to download the guide also is available from the center website's homepage.

The Center for Watershed Protection (www.cwp.org) is based in Ellicott City, MD. Founded in 1992, it's a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation that provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country with the technical tools for protecting some of the nation's most precious natural resources: our streams, lakes and rivers. The center has developed and disseminated a multi-disciplinary strategy to watershed protection that encompasses watershed planning, watershed restoration, stormwater management, watershed research, better site design, education and outreach, and watershed training.

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