Watershed Planning

DMS uses multi-scale watershed planning to identify the best locations to implement stream, wetland and riparian-buffer restoration. The planning process considers where mitigation is needed and how DMS mitigation efforts might contribute to the improvement of water and habitat quality in the state.

Watershed planning requires GIS data analysis, stakeholder involvement, water-quality and habitat monitoring and consideration of local land uses and ordinances. It is a multidimensional process which considers science, policy and partnerships.

River Basin Restoration Priorities

River Basin Restoration Priorities (RBRPs) are plans that DMS develops to identify priorities for the protection and enhancement of water quality, fisheries, and wildlife habitat. DMS uses the priorities to guide its stream, wetland and riparian restoration and protection activities in the state’s 17 major river basins. 

To better comply with the 2008 Federal Mitigation Rule (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332), DMS is updating its methodology to identify functional based watershed priorities. As part of this update, watersheds are being evaluated at the catchment scale and those identified as priorities are called Targeted Resource Areas (TRAs). These TRAs will receive priority for DMS planning and restoration project funds.

Regional Watershed Planning

Regional watershed planning (RWPs) is intended to build upon existing planning efforts, including Local Watershed Plans and RBRP priorities, as well as stakeholder momentum. RWPs evaluate aquatic resource conditions and identify priorities based upon watershed functions utilizing existing data and modeled watershed conditions.  This allows DMS to focus implementation of compensatory-mitigation projects in watersheds that exhibit the greatest opportunity for improvement. 

Local Watershed Planning

Local watershed planning is conducted in specific priority areas (typically one or more TLWs) where DMS and the local community have identified a need to address crucial watershed issues. Through this planning process, DMS collaborates with local stakeholders and resource professionals to identify projects and management strategies to restore, enhance and protect local watershed resources.  

More information on watershed planning efforts is available by contacting Anjie Ackerman.