Watershed Management

Joe Bonnell
The Ohio State University
OSU Extension
(614) 292-9383

Anne Baird
The Ohio State University
OSU Extension
(614) 292-8603


The Ohio State University coordinates the Watershed Management Theme
for the Great Lakes Regional Water Program.

Watershed Management Theme Resources
Team Purpose Team Members Resources & Links


the midwest spatial decision support system (MSDSS) partnershipNew!
The Midwest Spatial Decision Support System (MSDSS) Partnership is working to advance and support watershed management in the region through development, promotion and use of web-based, user-friendly, geo-spatial watershed management data and decision support systems. These systems then can assist a user in evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of competing watershed management alternatives.

Two of the decision support systems now on-line are Digital Watershed ( and Long-Term Hydrologic Impact Assessment Model (L-THIA). Read more.....

developing social indicators for nonpoint source (nps) managementUpdated!
Historically, water quality projects operating within short time frames have not been able to sufficiently demonstrate direct impacts on water quality. In an effort to improve evaluation of its 319 Program, USEPA Region 5 and the Region 5 state water quality agencies are working together to develop and implement an evaluation framework for NPS intended to more clearly link program activities to water quality outcomes.

improving stormwater management in the great lakes region
The initiative recently completed the first version of a web-based, georeferenced searchable database to house examples of innovative stormwater projects or traditional stormwater management techniques that have been used in an innovative manner. Read more...

online watershed planning and management
Three web meetings were held during the summer of 2007 for Extension educators to learn about the on-line tools in each of the states and discuss the potential for improving access, integration, and use of on-line watershed tools. Read more...

extraordinary people making an extraordinary difference
This project uses multi-state video conferences with local facilitated meetings, a website, and watershed leadership trainings to share the stories of decision makers who have improved their communities and watershed by linking land use and watershed planning. Read more...

measuring social outcomes of nonpoint source management programs
USEPA Region 5, state water quality agencies, university researchers and educators, and local water managers have produced pilot methods and guidance for measuring social information and outcomes from nonpoint source (NPS) programs in the Great Lakes Region. Read more...

behind the scenes: watershed management theme team
helps professionals keep current

The Watershed Management Theme Team devotes many hours to staying up-to-date on the best information and approaches available to water resource professionals. Read about the Team's activities.

extraordinary people creating extraordinary communities: a profile of land use decision makers
On March 7, 2007 Ohio State University Extension, Purdue University, and the University of Minnesota hosted a video conference to showcase stories of individuals and organizations making a difference in their communities through land use and watershed management people, programs, and practices.  The goal of the video conference was to promote regional cooperation among watershed professionals in the Great Lakes states, document success stories, and encourage new approaches that effectively link land use and watershed management. Read more about our Extraordinary People (1.9 Mb pdf)...

video conference highlights
Three featured "extraordinary people" from each state presented their stories at thhis conference. Participants from each state then asked questions of the story tellers and shared their own stories. Following the conference local groups further discussed effectively linking land use and watershed management.
The conference was held at 10 locations or sites in three states with a total of 19 participants.

Water research and outreach that begin in a single state are often the foundation for collaborative, multi-state programs and projects. The following are just a few single-state initiatives that contribute to the Watershed Management Theme. If you are interested in collaborating on a related program, please contact Joe Bonnell or Anne Baird (see contact info at left).

illinois river conference
In October 2007, the 11th Biennial Governor’s Conference on the Management of the Illinois River System was held. More than 60 agencies and organizations, including University of Illinois Extension (UIE), sponsored the conference, which drew 400 participants. Prior to the event, Bob Frazee, Extension Educator – Natural Resources Management, UIE and member of the Regional Project Advisory Committee, was interviewed about the River Conference on the RFD Illinois radio network, which includes 83 stations. The Conference Evaluation indicates a 100% good/excellence overall rating for the conference.

minnesota stormwater leadership provides a model
for great lakes region states

The University of Minnesota Stormwater Management Assessment Project recently completed a comprehensive stormwater research program with the goal of developing the manual Assessment of Stormwater Best Management Practices. Read more about this and other Minnesota Watershed Management programs.

high impact targeting
Michigan State University and its partners are completing the first phase in the development of the High Impact Targeting (HIT) System, a tool to focus limited conservation resources on the most serious erosion and pollution problems. Read more about this and other Michigan projects in Watershed Management.

ohio watershed academy builds local leadership
The Academy builds the capacity of watershed groups and watershed professionals to plan and implement watershed protection plans. For the 2007 edition of the class, two new modules were created on Geographic Information Systems and Stream Dynamics. Read more about this and other Ohio programs in Watershed Management.

indiana's watershed leadership academy
Fifty-four emerging watershed leaders have participated in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. As graduates, professional and volunteer watershed leaders are using what they learn to enhance stakeholder involvement, educate their communities more effectively, and make changes on the land to restore water quality. Read more about this and other Indiana programs in Watershed Management.

the wisconsin basin education initiative
The Wisconsin Basin Education Initiative involves a team of 15 University of Wisconsin-Extension Basin Educators located throughout Wisconsin in areas coinciding with the state’s major river and Great Lakes basins. The Initiative delivers research-based information and promotes cooperation and communication among the numerous agencies and organizations active in protecting Wisconsin’s water and land resources. Read more about this program or visit the Basin Initiative Website.

lake and stream leadership training
This Michigan program offered workshops statewide focused on teaching diverse audiences about lakes, watersheds and stormwater management. Read more about this and other state progams in Watershed Management.

volunteer stream monitoring partnership
Coordinated through the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Partnership (VSMP) is a collaboration between citizens, local government units, educators, state and regional agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. Read more about the Partnership..livestock and streams fact sheets
Livestock access to streams is a significant problem on much of Ohio’s pasture lands. A new series of five fact sheets has been developed to address the impacts of livestock on riparian area. Access the fact sheets and read about Ohio programs in Watershed Management.


Back to top