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General Reference

  • Getting in Step: A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns [PDF]:
    • This online handbook and training module was created to assist watershed groups in preparing and conducting stakeholder outreach and public education campaigns. It provides advice on how to collect information about your target audience, how to package and distribute your message and what resources you might tap to implement your campaign.
  • National Extension Water Quality Outreach Education:
    • Most watershed groups have heard of best management practices, but do you know what best education practices to employ in your outreach campaign? This Web site includes a wide range of resources for setting up or improving an education or outreach program.

Community Involvement

  • Managing Natural Resource Disputes [PDF]:
    • Watershed planning is a collaborative process, but of course that doesn't mean that everyone always agrees. This resource from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension describes the collaborative process and various methods of dispute resolution. Read it ahead of time to be prepared for any tension that might develop in your watershed meetings.
  • Running Public Meetings [PDF]:
    • This Natural Resources Conservation Service publication outlines eleven steps to setting up and running a public meeting. The focus of the publication is logistics – facilitation skills required to help the meeting run smoothly are not included.
  • Resolving Conflict (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture):
    • When you encounter conflict, do you fight or prepare for flight? How do you deal with the committee member who complains about everything, but never offers solutions? This fact sheet packs a lot of useful information into a small publication, including five different reactions people commonly have towards conflict and tips for dealing with seven difficult personalities that may arouse conflict.
  • Conducting a River Cleanup:
    • This manual from an experienced watershed group is packed full of ideas and practical advice on how to start a clean-up program. Whether you've never conducted a clean-up or have been doing them for years, you'll find this guide useful.

Volunteer Recruitment and Coordination

  • Successful Volunteer Programs:
    • Volunteers are important for watershed groups. Whether they sit on the steering committee or make monthly sampling runs, their valuable help contributes to the success of the entire effort. So, how do you recruit and retain good volunteers? View this Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for ideas.
  • Developing and Managing Volunteer Programs:
    • This website from Management Help offers a wealth of information on volunteer recruitment, training, and retention. Suggestions are also included for recognizing and thanking volunteers.


  • Project WET:
    • Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) provides educators with interdisciplinary training and lesson plans emphasizing the importance of water resources. Activities and plans provided in the Project WET guide are correlated to Indiana state educational standards.
  • Kid's Crossing:
    • This Web site includes some basic science tools for kids and teachers to help children understand some basic concepts of the atmosphere and climate. Segments on this page include water, air, weather, and general science.
  • Water on the Web (WOW):
    • This Web site includes resources for teachers and high school and college students on topics such as water quality, watersheds, aquatic ecology, and data interpretation. Resources available include learning modules, PowerPoint presentations, and lesson plans.

Adult - General Public

  • Healthy Watersheds Protection:
    • On this website, there are a variety of U.S. EPA and non-U.S. EPA watershed outreach tools and resource links available to stakeholders and watershed coordinators on organizing, promoting, and carrying out healthy watershed protection efforts.
  • Working with Absentee Landowners:
    • Persuading landowners to change behavior is difficult enough when they are local and may have heard of your organization – but communicating with a remote landowner to evoke change can seem impossible.

Public Officials - Decision Makers

  • Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials:
    • This Web site targets land use education to local officials. Start with the "Tools and Resources" section. Especially check out, under "Publications," the Fact Sheets Soapbox Editorials. You'll need to sift through the Connecticut-specific information to get to wide-range applicable materials, but we think it's worth it.
  • Influence the process of community decision making:
    • New resource reference material coming soon.
  • Land Use and Wetlands: A Local Decision Makers' Guide to Wetland Conservation [PDF]:
    • Wetlands provide valuable services to the people in their communities, but Indiana has lost 85% of its wetlands since the 1780s. Use this publication to talk to your local officials about the benefits of saving the remaining wetland acres in your watershed. The permitting information is for Wisconsin specifically, but the information on wetland benefits can be used in any state.

Social Marketing

  • Getting Your Feet Wet with Social Marketing [PDF]:
    • Getting to behavioral change is more than sending out newsletters and posting flyers. It requires a thorough understanding of the audience and why they are not behaving in the desired way. This handbook provides a primer on social marketing theory, as well as practical examples, worksheets and additional resources directly geared toward watershed groups and water quality-related behavioral change.
  • Community-Based Social Marketing Web Site:
    • Research has shown that natural resources marketing is not like commercial marketing. We are not selling a product – we are selling behavioral change. This Web site provides a forum for natural resource professionals to share their experiences, scientific studies and advice related to community outreach to spread success, reduce duplication and make our environment a better place to live. Also, available for free download on the site, is the book Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, which describes a successful approach to change natural resource-related behavior in a community.
  • Creating Effective Relationships with the Media [PDF]:
    • Using the media to get the word out about a watershed planning effort will help you to reach many more people than public meetings or workshops. But how do you get the media's attention? Use this NRCS publication to learn some tips on how to get your watershed story in print or on the air.

Outreach Materials

  • U.S. EPA NPS Outreach Toolbox:
    • An online clearinghouse of outreach materials, the NPS Outreach Toolbox provides downloadable materials for TV, radio, and print. With the right editing and design skills, any of these materials can be customized for use within your local watershed.

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