Improving South Fork Peachtree Creek watershed using the triple bottom line – DeKalb County, Georgia
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Restoring two streams, two lakes, and protecting a buffer are part of a plan to improve the health of South Fork Peachtree Creek based on environmental, social and financial criteria. DeKalb County is similar to many metro-Atlanta Georgia communities with a Storm Water Management Plan and a Watershed Protection Plan to fulfill state and federal regulations. In developing Watershed Management Plans to satisfy these requirements, DeKalb County chose to use the triple bottom line (TBL) approach to prioritize different Watershed Improvement Plans. The prioritization method allows flexibility and consistency while evaluating environmental, social and economic measures and identifying projects with the greatest value per dollar. We wanted a TBL model that used science based methods and was easy to implement to determine if a project would benefit the health of the stream. A TBL model that can evaluate the best environmental project must be able to recognize that there are different types of assets and include projects such as detention pond retrofits and stream restoration projects. The Prioritization Matrix developed here uses a grid analysis to weigh different TBL measures in order to select the best overall environmental project.