Every Acre Counts: the Newfound Watershed Master Plan:

Newfound webCFE has been involved in the Newfound Lake Watershed Master Plan project from 2008-2011. A watershed plan is often a key component of managing water resources by providing a holistic framework to watershed communities for the application of management tools that meet water resources goals for the entire watershed. As watersheds typically cross town lines, the development of a watershed plan is a collaborative process involving multiple stakeholders.

In Phase I of the project, CFE conducted an initial survey in 2008 to determine resident’s values and desires for the future of the watershed and its environmental characteristics. This survey provided information for stewardship education by asking questions to determine the knowledge base of residents. A follow-up survey in 2009 determined if the watershed planning process resulted in changes in knowledge and the most effective steps to increase stewardship. Oral histories of the region were also collected to determine past land use and general attitudes about the area. Throughout the project, PSU’s Office of Public Relations assisted CFE and the Newfound Lake Region Association (NLRA) in creating awareness about the project. Publications and events helped explain the need for watershed planning and the connection between land use, watershed management, and water quality in Newfound Lake.

In Phase II of the project, CFE has aided NLRA and other affiliated project team members by utilizing existing survey data from Phase I to identify critical communications elements for the watershed plan. By using concepts from Community-Based Social Marketing, CFE helped gather information for use in developing communications to encourage participation in specific environmentally responsible behaviors to protect water quality.

Project partners included NLRA, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, Newfound Area School District, and Jeffrey H. Taylor & Associates. The work was funded by two Watershed Assistance and Restoration Grants from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES).

The following reports and materials were issued as part of the project: