Watershed Planning Initiative

Creating A New Regional Watershed Management Model for The Ohio River Watershed

Rural Action is coordinating a strategic planning initiative that will result in the development of a new watershed management model for the Ohio River Watershed. Our goal is to create a plan that will outline necessary resources to better manage water throughout the region into the future.

Since 1994, Rural Action has been a leader in stream restoration throughout Ohio’s coal region. Currently, we coordinate restoration projects in six watersheds spanning seven counties in eastern and southeastern Ohio. Through our Ohio Stream Restore Corps program, we actively work alongside partner organizations in two additional watersheds and five additional counties in southeast Ohio.

In Ohio, watershed management generally takes place in small geographic areas. The current approach poses a challenge for sustainable regional water management over the long-term. Not all communities have an up-to-date watershed management plan. Additionally, over-reliance on individual funding sources and reduced local, state, and federal technical support, along with a decrease in financial resources for watershed and sponsor organizations mean that a new model is needed in Ohio to protect and restore water resources into the future.

The results of  our work will be available in the spring of 2016.

The Plan Will Include:

  • an assessment of existing models
  • community water resource needs
  • staffing needs
  • funding needs and potential sources
  • financial feasibility of the new model

What Does Watershed Management Planning Address?

A watershed management planning process addresses protection of high quality water and can also include restoration of impacted water resources. A plan covers topics such as water pollution, recreational use, flood control, and waste water management. Moving to a regional watershed management model will give communities the ability to tap into an already developed system offering more flexibility and support to manage water resources.
Ohio River Basin Target Watersheds Map

What is the Ohio River Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land in which all the water drains to the same low point. Everyone lives in a watershed. Ohio has two major watersheds that are made up of smaller watersheds. These are the Lake Erie Watershed and the Ohio River Watershed. The Ohio River Watershed encompasses a large part of Ohio including all of Appalachian Ohio in the eastern part of the state. All the water that falls in this area will eventually drain into the Ohio River. Our initiative focuses on areas within the Ohio River Basin.


Regional Watershed Planning Survey Results

Rural Action has compiled the results of our Regional Watershed Planning Survey to better understand local needs and issues that span the Ohio River Watershed Basin. See the results here.





Download More Information

Click here to download a copy of our watershed planning initiative information sheet.

Additional Watershed Resources
Watershed Information

U.S. EPA Watershed Information
United States Geological Service Science in Your Watershed
Ohio Watershed Data

Ohio Organizations & Agencies

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Drinking and Groundwaters
Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water
Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Raccoon Creek Partnership
Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District