In the short-, medium- and long-term, it appears that the best way for concerned citizens to protect our regional water supply and the ecosystems that depend on it for life, including the human population, is to adopt a watershed action plan that has strong enforcement components.
On July 10, the Spring Creek Watershed Commission (SCWC) kicked off the process of updating the Spring Creek Watershed Action Plan (SCWAP), which was abandoned in 2003 after Phase 1, due to funding and civic momentum shortfalls.
SCWC has created an excellent new website, including a page for coordination of the update process.
The update process is being led by Janie French, executive director of Headwaters Charitable Trust.
There were about 50-60 people at the kickoff meeting, held at Calvary Baptist Harvest Fields in Boalsburg. After an introductory presentation, the group was split into four smaller groups to begin talking about what we want our watershed community to look like in the future, and what actions could contribute to bringing about those results. Then there was a report-back.
One of the key issues identified by all four small groups was the need for watershed protection measures to be locally enforceable, to “have teeth.”
Ms. French then announced that the four groups would be meeting bimonthly during July, August and early September to continue the process of reviewing the Phase 1 report and setting foundations for the drafting of Phase 2. Public, large-group meetings will then resume, probably in September and October.
Broad community engagement is important, so if you didn’t go to the July 10 kickoff meeting but would like to get involved in the small group meetings, please contact SCWC Communications Coordinator Caitlin Teti at email@example.com and ask to be added to one of the small groups meeting for the next few weeks.