Set Preliminary Goals

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Watershed Management Process
Build Partnerships
Characterize the Watershed
Set Goals and Identify Solutions
Design an Implementation Program
Implement the Watershed Plan
Measure Progress and Make Adjustments

After developing a list of issues of concern, work with your stakeholders to develop goals for the watershed that they will like to address in the watershed plan. Involving your partners and stakeholders at this stage is critical to ensure that you address the issues that are important to them and will encourage their involvement throughout the planning and implementation effort. Keep in mind that stakeholders are more likely to get involved if you can show them a clear benefit to their participation.

The more specific you can make your goals at this stage, the easier it will be to develop concrete objectives to achieve these goals. In addition to setting goals for the management of the watershed, you should also establish goals and objectives for how to engage and inform those who contribute to water quality degradation and motivate them to adopt more appropriate behaviors.

As you move through the planning process you will refine these goals and develop specific management objectives to demonstrate how you will achieve them. You will also establish indicators to measure progress and determine when your goals have been attained. See Figure 4-4 (PDF, 615 kb, 20 pp.) on page 4-9 of EPA's Watershed Handbook to see a conceptual diagram of how your goals will grow and evolve during the watershed planning process.

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