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Watershed Management Plans

A watershed plan is a strategy and a work plan for achieving water resource goals that provides assessment and management information for a geographically defined watershed. It includes the analyses, actions, participants, and resources related to development and implementation of the plan. The watershed planning process uses a series of cooperative, iterative steps to characterize existing conditions, identify and prioritize problems, define management objectives, and develop and implement protection or remediation strategies as necessary.

The main components (or chapters) in a watershed plan include:

  1. Public Concerns
  2. Watershed Inventory - includes water quality, physical, and social data
  3. Problem Identification
  4. Identify Sources of Problems
  5. Selection of Critical Areas
  6. Set Goals and Objectives
  7. Measure Success

The primary purpose of a watershed management plan is to guide watershed coordinators, resource managers, policy makers, and community organizations to restore and protect the quality of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in a given watershed. The plan is intended to be a practical tool with specific recommendations on practices to improve and sustain water quality. These are also “living documents”, meaning that as conditions change over time in a watershed, the plan must be reexamined and revised to reflect goals that have been achieved or not met.

On this page is a list of watershed management plans reviewed by IDEM’s Nonpoint Source Grant Program that have been determined to meet U.S. EPA’s 9 Key Elements of a Watershed Management Plan. These plans were written by locally-led watershed groups and serve as the first step to improving water quality in a number of Indiana’s rivers, lakes, and streams.

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