Across the country, the need to protect drinking water for the citizens and businesses in our communities is bringing together land trusts, water utilities, governments and other partners to develop large-scale, strategic land conservation programs. At a time when the threats to our water are growing – from development, contaminants, pollution and a changing climate – watershed protection efforts provide win-win solutions for communities, local economies and the environment. This workshop will provide case studies of four different watershed protection programs. Each example involves a unique geographic and political context, but key components are present throughout, like catalyzing events and/or actors, partnerships and collaboration, science-based planning, and innovative funding. Through the case studies, we will explore how these elements have come together in different places to create a successful program, hear lessons learned, and discuss opportunities for funding watershed protection. Watershed protection is essential for community resilience in a changing climate. It helps ensure that ecosystem services like flood control, water filtration, groundwater recharge, and drinking water continue for our towns and cities. Every land trust can play a role in improving watershed health, collaborate across jurisdictions and boundaries to explore what is possible at the watershed or river basin scale, and act to protect and maintain watershed function and services.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Raleigh Convention Center