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Water: Estuaries and Coastal Watersheds

Chapter 3 - Community-Based Watershed Management Handbook

Chapter 3: Identifying Problems and Solutions

Once the estuary programs have built a framework for identifying, negotiating, and solving problems, they are ready to embark on other tasks. The NEPs begin to “take the pulse” of their estuaries, determining the state of their health and the reasons for their decline, and take early corrective action if possible. This process, referred to as Technical Characterization, defines the most pressing problems in the estuary, identifies the probable causes for these problems, and suggests possible solutions based on objective evidence.

Each NEP also conducts a Base Program Analysis. The Base Program Analysis determines whether existing institutional mechanisms are effectively addressing problems occurring in the estuary. The Base Program Analysis provides an assessment of existing federal, state, and local resource programs to identify gaps in estuary management and how they might be filled. It includes a review of public and private funding opportunities.

Together, the Technical Characterization and Base Program Analysis are the basis for defining and selecting the problems to be addressed in the Management Plan. This chapter outlines how the NEPs conduct the Technical Characterization and the Base Program Analysis. The chapter also discusses how the findings resulting from the Technical Characterization and Base Program Analysis are combined and translated into plain English, telling a story about the estuary and its watershed that the public and local decision-makers can understand.

Assistive Technology: For individuals with disabilities, download Chapter 3: Identifying Problems and Solutions (PDF) (21 pp, 641K, About PDF) designed for use with screen reader software applications, About Web Accessibility.

Download Chapter 3: Identifying Problems and Solutions (PDF) (19 pp, 1.1MB, About PDF)


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