Planning and partnerships: a model for successful section 319(h) projects
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Restoration of Georgia’s water quality requires many elements and players. From developing a plan, to deciding on the appropriate implementation actions, to finding the right organization to coordinate these efforts, trying to restore water quality in a given stream, lake, or estuary presents many challenges. However, when all of the necessary elements and players do come together, the results are well worth the challenges. One of the most important aspects of restoring waters is partnerships, and the partnerships forged by the Soque River Watershed Association (SRWA) have proven extremely effective. The Soque Partnership (SP) was formed by SRWA and the City of Clarkesville to develop a watershed management plan (WMP) and engage many diverse stakeholders in its many partnerships and implementation actions. The SP has demonstrated what a model Section 319(h) Grant funded project can look like. The SRWA continues to utilize their partnerships in the most effective manner, which has resulted in several rounds of funding under Section 319(h) to implement their WMP. The result of this work will be a segment of the Soque River that has been moved from Not Supporting is designated use to Supporting on the Draft 2012 3035(b)/303(d) List of Waters. The SRWA hopes to continue this model to further their restoration effort and to being teaching others in an attempt to export this successful model of planning and implementation to other in the hopes of seeing more of Georgia’s waters restored.