Education and Outreach

FAD Section 10 - Education and Outreach Program

2007 FAD Requirements

The purpose of the Education and Outreach Program is to enhance watershed protection through education of, and outreach to, the broad spectrum of watershed stakeholders. The 2006 Long- Term Watershed Protection Program (Section 2.9) and the 2007 FAD (Section 10) contain a number of programmatic goals, including specific educational and outreach efforts. To enhance understanding of and strengthen collaboration in watershed protection efforts, the 2007 FAD specifically requires the City to partner with upstate and downstate communities and local municipal and highway officials, embrace school-based education and training efforts, holdgeneral outreach events (e.g. fairs, exhibits, etc.) and publish relevant materials. In addition, the 2007 FAD requires the City to prepare and submit to regulators annual reports, summarizing the accomplishments of the Program.

Evaluation of the NYC Water System's Performance

In its 2011 Watershed Protection Program Summary and Assessment report the City describes the Education and Outreach Program and details specific programmatic achievements. The report shows that the education and outreach efforts embrace a broad spectrum of community education and outreach. The Program is implemented through active collaboration of the City with the stakeholders, which are comprised of both upstate watershed residents and downstate water consumers. In addition, the City works closely with the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), Cornell Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and numerous other partners in order to educate constituents and raise public awareness about the necessity of water pollution prevention for public health protection and the need for water conservation and environmental stewardship. Various programmatic components are incorporated into specific 2007 FAD programs and reported through them. They include, but are not limited to, the Watershed Agricultural and Forestry Programs (Sections 4.4 and 4.5, respectively), the Stormwater and Stream Management Programs (Sections 3.5 and 4.6, respectively), and the Riparian Buffer and Wetland Protection Programs (Sections 4.7 and 4.8, respectively). Another important component of the Program includes the school-based education efforts, general community outreach, and partnerships with regulatory and local government officials.

As required by the 2007 FAD, the City submitted annual reports on time and they were of satisfactory quality. In 2009, the City changed its reporting system format to address the primary targeted audiences. These audience categories were streamlined into the following categories: (1) New York City water consumers; (2) watershed residents, landowners, and homeowners; (3) school groups and youth audiences; (4) local government officials, professionals, and business groups; and (5) recreational groups and other public audiences. Those changes in the reporting system drastically improved the quality and clarity of the reports.

NYSDOH and EPA believe that the Education and Outreach Program continues to be successfully implemented and is a valuable component of the City's overall watershed protection program.