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New EPA Tool to Accelerate Watershed Planning


WEBWIRE

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the Watershed Plan Builder, an interactive, Web-based tool to improve efforts by states and local communities in protecting and restoring local water resources. The tool will help local watershed organizations develop integrated watershed plans to meet state and EPA requirements and promote water quality improvements.

Practitioners from watershed organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and local governments will use the Watershed Plan Builder to address polluted runoff, the largest contributor to water quality problems nationwide.

Once the data are entered, the tool produces an outline of a comprehensive watershed plan tailored to a specific watershed. It features links to EPA, other federal agencies and state water programs. The Watershed Plan Builder walks the practitioner through various watershed planning steps:

watershed monitoring and assessment
community outreach
selection and application of available models
best management practices
implementation
feedback

During the next six months, the Watershed Plan Builder will be available to watershed organizations, federal and state agencies, tribes, universities and local governments to beta test the application and provide feedback. A team of experts from EPA’s water programs developed the tool, with input from state, tribal and local agency experts and other local watershed practitioners.

EPA will host a Webcast on the Watershed Plan Builder on May 2, 2007 from 1-2:30 p.m. EDT.



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