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What’s in Your 'Shed?
Activity Code: S560
Date: Monday, April 15
Planning for sustainable communities includes natural resource management, which can be challenging as natural resources (e.g. waterways, wetlands, dunes, beaches, lakes, etc.) do not follow jurisdictional boundaries. One way to meet this challenge is through watershed planning, which allows for a data driven planning and implementation process at a multi-jurisdictional scale, focused on local community-driven priorities. Often the focus of watershed planning is improvement of water quantity and water quality issues (e.g. flooding, erosion, CWA 303(d) impairments, etc.), however other issues such as natural area restoration, and recreational use of greenways and waterways are inter-related and should be considered. Natural resource managers often use the watershed planning process to assess threats, prioritize solutions, engage local stakeholders, and conduct community outreach and education, and this framework can be applied to meet multiple planning objectives.
Urban planners, watershed managers, and natural resource managers often face a similar suite of challenges, and can learn from each other. Many stressors to natural areas, such increased quantity of stormwater runoff, also stress built systems. Especially in urban area, natural and built environments are interrelated; therefore a similar suite of sustainable development strategies can be adopted. An example of a strategy that results in shared benefits to both natural and built systems, is green infrastructure, which is used to protect and restore natural areas by reducing the percentage of impervious surface, and therefore reducing the quantity and improving the quality of water flowing into sewers and waterways.
As a part of the Water Symposium at the American Planning Conference, this session will bring municipal, county, and non-profit watershed planners and resource managers together to share their planning and project implementation experiences in a case study format. They will discuss a suite of sustainable development strategies (e.g. watershed planning, green infrastructure planning, habitat restoration), opportunities for public education and outreach (e.g. volunteer stewardship and clean-up events), and tools for project prioritization (e.g. GIS, Arch Hydro, SUSTAIN). The speakers will present concrete lessons learned and draw broad conclusions applicable to different planning frameworks.