Oftentimes, awards are seen as a measure of a project’s end success. However, the effort behind award winning work is evident in the level of coordination, quality control, and attention to detail that goes into a project from the project kick-off to the delivery of the final product.
The watershed plan won a 2013 Chapter of APA Award for Environmental Planning due, in part, to its utilization of a multidisciplinary approach, with input coming from water resource engineers, planners, and environmental scientists. This approach allowed the Lower Platte North NRD to take a holistic stance on managing the water resources within their district. Instead of focusing on a small portion of the watershed directly adjacent to the impaired stream, the scope was expanded to the entire Wahoo Creek Watershed.
Assisting on the project, which was led by the Lower Platte North NRD, JEO investigated sources of water pollution from overland flow, as well as performing a Reconnaissance Level Stream Assessment. This assessment categorized nearly every mile of stream within the watershed in order to identify areas to focus future stream stability projects on. The Watershed Plan identified and utilized modeling to quantify the sources of pollutions, identified best management practices (BMPs) to address them, engaged the public through information and education, and established monitoring criteria for implementation of the plan. The Watershed Plan was built around EPA’s “Nine Elements” of a successful watershed plan.
The award winning plan has laid out a strategy for the NRD to focus on over the next 40 years to improve the quality of the aquatic resources within the Watershed. Hard work and dedication was put into the project from both the Lower Platte North NRD and JEO. When a desire to push conventional project boundaries is available and communication between project staff, the public, and regulatory agencies is handled in a positive and efficient manner, great projects happen. This is just one example of such results!