Report from Watershed Weekly (Nov. 3, 2000)
News from the First Annual Juniata Watershed Summit
The First Annual Juniata Watershed Summit was held on October 28 at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the Summit was to provide a forum for the discussion of environmental concerns among the residents and policy makers in the Juniata Watershed and to learn about projects that are already happening in their community.
DEP Executive Deputy Secretary David E. Hess helped kick off the Summit by noting that watershed conferences and workshops attracted more than 4,500 people this year showing how the commitment to watershed protection has taken off.
Funding for the Summit was provided by a Growing Greener Grant through the Western PA Watershed Protection Program, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and DCNR.
The Juniata Clean Water Partnership (JCWP) is a regional coalition of citizens, community groups, nonprofit organizations, county planning offices, and county conservation districts who are addressing issues affecting the Juniata River watershed. JCWP recently completed a watershed management plan to carry out projects including stream bank stabilization, greenway and trail development, and water monitoring. The recent Summit served as a resource tool to assist other groups in the Juniata Watershed to implement the recommendations outlined in this plan. Now that the plan is complete, DCNR will place the Juniata River on PA's Rivers Registry which promotes river conservation, local municipal support, and provides opportunities to Juniata watershed groups to qualify for development and acquisition grants.
According to Deb Nardone, Juniata Watershed Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the primary goals of the Summit were to identify individuals or watershed groups that wanted to become involved but didn't know how, to provide training to those groups already involved on how to be more successful, and to identify what's happening in the watershed and work on developing partnerships.
"It is important to develop partnerships with local and state or regional organizations," said Nardone.
Training sessions offered at the Summit included Charting the Future of Your Community, Community Outreach, Watershed Science, Getting the Funds You Need Through Grant Writing, Organizing a Watershed, Land Use Planning and Zoning, Learning GIS Mapping and Working Effectively With Your Local Government.
When asked about the Summit's success, Nardone said, "Our projection was set at 70-75 people and we had that many along with plenty of media coverage."
(Reprinted from the November 3, 2000, edition of Watershed Weekly, the online newsletter of the Environmental Fund for Pennsylvania, also supported by GreenWorks TV and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR).)