What is a Nine Element Watershed Plan?
A Watershed Management Plan (WMP) identifies water quality problems in your watershed, proposes solutions, and creates a strategy for putting those solutions in action in an effort to improve water quality. A Nine Element Plans (9E) further refines a watershed plan and is consistent with the EPA and NYSDEC frameworks.
A Nine Element Plan identifies sources of nonpoint source pollution within the watershed and engages key stakeholders in the planning process to identify restoration and protection strategies to address the water quality concerns.
According to the NYS DEC website: “9E plans use adaptive management, have strong implementation sections, are effective plans for restoration or protection, and projects identified in 9E plans are eligible for federal and state funding. Applications submitted to DEC’s Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant program that identify projects from a 9E watershed plan receive higher points.”
The nine minimum elements to be included in the watershed plan can be summarized as follows:
- Identify and quantify sources of pollution in the watershed.
- Identify water quality target or goal and pollutant reductions needed to achieve goal.
- Identify the best management practices (BMP’s) that will help to achieve the reductions needed.
- Describe the financial or technical assistance needed to implement the BMP’s.
- Describe the out reach to stakeholders, how their inputs were incorporated and their role in plan implementation.
- Estimate a schedule to implement each BMP.
- Describe the milestones and estimated time frames for the implementation of the BMP’s.
- Identify criteria that will be utilized to assess water quality improvement as the plan is being implemented.
- Describe the monitoring plan that will collect water quality data needed to measure water quality data needed to measure water quality improvements against the criteria established in element 8.