Watershed Working Group

Introduction

Land-based sources of pollution (LBSP) present a suite of problems confronting coral reef ecosystems. In 2009, the USCRTF began working on a watershed partnership initiative in Guánica, PR to leverage member resources and expertise to address land source based pollution. Since then, priority watersheds have been identified in West Maui, HI, and Faga’alu, American Samoa. Shortly after, a Watershed Working Group was established to spearhead the Watershed Partnership Initiative. Arguably the biggest success of the WPI is the creation of the watershed metrics which includes specific language to evaluate the success of LBSP reduction efforts conducted in the priority watersheds across three areas: programmatic, ecological, and social/community engagement. With these metrics in place, it is hoped that successful watersheds will be able to graduate to a non-priority level. The Watershed Working Group has finalized a strategy for future work focusing on supporting the USCRTF priority watersheds and providing assistance to other ongoing watershed and land-based pollution control sites in all of the jurisdictions.

Meetings

The Watershed Working Group meets monthly via conference call on the fourth Wednesday of the month. This working group is currently co-chaired by EPA and NOAA.