Strategic Plan

Healthy reservoir systems are vital to the security of the United States, to the quality of life of its citizens, and to the quality and quantity of aquatic habitat needed to sustain our native and sport fisheries. Our conservation strategy to protect, restore and enhance healthy reservoir systems – and the fish habitat that relies upon them – is built on the foundation of five goals:

  • Protect, restore and enhance fish habitat in reservoir systems to support productive fisheries and healthy aquatic ecosystems
  • Manage reservoir systems to provide, protect and enrich quality of life for the American people
  • Develop and foster partnerships that implement landscape-scale approaches to the conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems
  • Develop and sustain institutional arrangements and sources of funding to support the long-term conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems
  • Support education and outreach initiatives that advance public awareness and understanding of the value of healthy reservoir systems

To meet these goals, the RFHP is guided by four principles:

  • Solutions to reservoir issues must be system-based. This means that the conservation actions we support to conserve fish habitat must address the causes, not the symptoms, of environmental, ecological and biological degradation in reservoir systems – and that this entails looking at causation across the watershed, not just within the reservoir proper. It also means that the role that people and their institutions play in managing reservoirs must be considered and addressed if conservation of fish habitat is to be meaningful and the health of reservoir systems sustained. Institutional, policy, and educational barriers to healthy reservoir systems must be rectified.
  • Conservation actions must be sustainable. This principle flows from the first. The conservation actions we support must address not only primary causes of reservoir system decline but result in outcomes that persist. The RFHP seeks more than ephemeral changes in the status of fish habitat and associated fisheries. Our conservation actions – if they are to be sustainable – must withstand and effectively address the combined impacts of population growth, development, and projected shifts in local and regional climate.
  • Conservation of reservoir systems must be collaborative and local. This principle is intrinsic to principles one and two. Our ability to function effectively and successfully at a watershed scale demands collaboration among the disparate authorities and interests responsible for and reliant upon any particular reservoir. Anything short of full stakeholder engagement impedes meaningful system-based conservation action. Moreover, our ability to deliver the conservation we identify as strategic relies on the driving force of local engagement.
  • Conservation of reservoir systems relies on information sharing. Principles one, two and three are conditional on this last principle. Our ability to address fish habitat strategically, sustainably, and collaboratively within reservoir systems depends on information – and our success in disseminating that information among the thousands of reservoir managers and stakeholders who hold the future of those systems in their hands. Knowledge that informs reservoir managers of best practices, educates, entertains, and engages users in reservoir conservation, and enlightens, motivates and guides decision makers in promulgating good conservation policy is fundamental to everything we do.

The components of our conservation strategy that follow – our goals, objectives, and targets – establish the outline of a long-term road map to success, one which we believe will lead to the realization of our mission, our vision, and our principles. We acknowledge that many of the objectives and targets we set forth must await subsequent 5-year revisions of the plan to be met and fulfilled. Accordingly, each goal is followed by a set of primary strategic actions that are scheduled to be implemented and met in the first planning cycle of the partnership (2010 – 2014). Some of these actions entail immediate information needs, such as completion of the RFHP national reservoir classification and assessment. Others entail preparatory actions necessary to either initiate or meet portions of other targets – with the expectation that completion may lie beyond the initial 5-year planning cycle. By stepping down broad, multi-year targets to a set of primary actions that we can achieve in our first 5 years, we can provide not only a road map of where we are headed, but a detailed look at our first stop along this long journey.

Goal One: Protect, restore and enhance fish habitat in reservoir systems to support productive fisheries and healthy aquatic ecosystems.

Reservoirs are human modifications of watershed systems designed to deliver water, navigation, power, flood risk reduction, recreation and other services. They alter and sometimes transform those systems, affecting resident populations of aquatic species and the ecological functions and structures upon which those populations depend. In turn, reservoirs are impacted by land uses in the watershed that affect water quantity and quality.

The objectives, targets and conservation actions that follow derive from the reservoir system impairments identified by the RFHP in its preliminary assessment. Additionally, these objectives and targets set forth the general framework for the four region-specific implementation plans that will be developed by the Regional Workgroups during the partnership’s first planning cycle. These plans will translate the broad objectives and targets listed below into concrete, measurable conservation actions aimed at conserving fish habitat in reservoir systems. Primary conservation actions that will be attained in the first 5-year planning cycle are listed separately at the conclusion of Goal One.

Objective 1A Protect, restore and enhance the structure and function of riparian and shoreline zones in reservoir systems to support healthy aquatic ecosystems.

  • Target 1A1.  Develop guidelines and protocols for the conservation of riparian and shoreline zones.
  • Target 1A2.  Protect intact riparian and shoreline zones through conservation easements or other long-term conservation mechanisms.
  • Target 1A3.  Increase coordination and cooperation with entities promoting the conservation of riparian and shoreline zones.

Objective 1B Protect, restore or enhance physical habitat for desired fisheries.

  • Target 1B1. Increase complex littoral habitats as overall percentage of total reservoir area in accordance with reservoir type, location, and best management practices.
  • Target 1B2. Increase/restore spawning/juvenile habitat in reservoir systems and create such habitats that would not be dewatered if reservoir water-levels or downstream flows fall below normal expected variation.
  • Target 1B3. Ensure partners have best available equipment and up-to-date guidance documents for planting of native aquatic macrophytes and habitat supplementation with complex woody debris.

Objective 1C – Manage aquatic and riparian nuisance species to avoid or minimize detrimental impacts to fish and aquatic resources.

  • Target 1C1. Develop best management practices for prevention, control or eradication of aquatic and riparian nuisance species.
  • Target 1C2. Support public prevention efforts for aquatic recreation users to limit spread of nuisance aquatic species.
  • Target 1C3. Establish online information network exchange for sharing, displaying, and discussing projects, strategies and technologies for prevention, control, or eradication of aquatic and riparian nuisance species.

Objective 1D – Maintain or restore appropriate hydrologic conditions in reservoir systems to support healthy aquatic ecosystems.

  • Target 1D1. Coordinate and cooperate with reservoir controlling authorities to ensure consideration of the needs of fish and aquatic resources within reservoir operations plans.
  • Target 1D2.  Coordinate and cooperate with reservoir controlling authorities to adapt reservoir operations plans to address the projected effects of climate change.
  • Target 1D3. Coordinate and cooperate with reservoir controlling authorities and downstream property owners to restore flood plain function.

Objective 1E – Protect, restore and enhance watershed connectivity.

  • Target 1E1. Protect, restore and enhance fish access to backwater spawning habitats.
  • Target 1E2. Remove or mitigate upstream and downstream barriers to fish passage.
  • Target 1E3. Develop guidelines for addressing fish passage issues within the design of proposed reservoirs.
  • Target 1E4. Provide technical guidance to support decision-making processes focused on dam removal.

Objective 1FMaintain or restore water quality in reservoir systems.

  • Target 1F1. Develop and refine tools and methodologies for evaluating water quality in reservoir systems.
  • Target 1F2. Encourage State partners to participate in water quality standards development and review to provide consideration for the habitat needs of fish and aquatic organisms.
  • Target 1F3. Maintain or restore the function of riparian and upland habitats to maintain water quality.

Objective 1G – Maintain or restore sediment flows in reservoir systems to support healthy aquatic ecosystems.

  • Target 1G1. Restore natural hydrologic regimes in reservoir systems to minimize the effects of river impoundment and maintain the natural expected variation of sediment flows.
  • Target 1G2. Promote best management practices within the watershed that prevent erosion and reduce sediment loads entering reservoir systems.

Objective 1H – Develop procedures and methodologies to prioritize and select fish habitat projects, and to monitor and evaluate the health of fish habitat in reservoir systems.

  • Target 1H1. Develop standardized methodologies to assess fish habitat in reservoir systems, including a reservoir classification system to organize assessment data in a format accessible to, useable by, and practical for fishery and reservoir managers.
  • Target 1H2. Develop a science-based prioritization process to select projects for support and implementation by the RFHP and its partners
  • Target 1H3.  Develop and maintain a central web-based, geo-referenced database for (a) fish habitat data; (b) reservoir assessments, project tracking, and research; and (c) project applications and submissions.
  • Target 1H4. Conduct periodic reviews that outline the state of fish habitat in reservoir systems.

2010 – 2014 Primary Conservation Actions for Goal One

  • Complete final version of RFHP Strategic Plan by end of 2010 (Target  IH1)
  • Complete national reservoir classification by end of 2010 (Target 1H1)
  • Establish technical assistance teams for policy and project support by end of 2010 (Targets 1C2, 1D2, 1D3, 1E4, 1G2)
  • Complete reservoir assessment for fish habitat by end of 2010 (Target 1H1)
  • Complete science-based prioritization process for identification of fish habitat priorities in reservoir systems by end of 2010 (Target 1H2)
    • Complete prioritization, monitoring, and reporting protocols
    • Complete national and regional reservoir system and project priority lists
  • Develop reservoir impairment model from key metrics to identify major impairments and their severity by end of 2011 (Target 1H1)
  • Complete Regional Workgroup implementation plans by end of 2011(Target 1H2)
  • Develop information network and exchange for sharing and dissemination of best management practices, appropriate technologies, and reservoir user practices and ethics by end of 2011 (Targets 1B3, 1C1, 1C2, 1C3, 1G2)
  • Issue regional reports on fisheries and fish habitat trends and conditions in reservoirs and reservoir impacted waters starting in  2011 (Target 1H4)
  • Develop first iteration of tools, guidelines, methodologies and protocols for fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems by end of 2012; present at AFWA regional meetings and American Fisheries Society (Targets 1A1, 1B3, 1E3, 1F1)
  • Establish and implement MOUs and other broad voluntary agreements to establish and foster a collaborative relationship between the RFHP and major reservoir regulatory and ownership authorities and other partnerships engaged in management and conservation of reservoir systems by the end of 2012 (Targets 1A3, 1D1, 1D2, 1D3, 1F2)
  • Complete development of national reservoir fish habitat assessment and project database by end of 2012 (Target 1H3)
  • Support project implementation starting in 2011(Targets 1A2, 1B1, 1B2, 1E1, 1E2, 1F3, 1G1)
    • Complete regional implementation plans by end of 2010
    • Complete list of top ten priority reservoir systems for 2011
    • Support 10 – 20 fish habitat conservation projects in priority systems in 2011
    • Complete list of top ten priority reservoir systems for 2012
    • Support 15 – 25 fish habitat conservation projects in priority systems in 2012
    • Complete list of top ten priority reservoir systems for 2013
    • Support 20 – 25 fish habitat conservation projects in priority systems in 2013
    • Complete list of top ten priority reservoir systems for 2014
    • Support 35 – 30 fish habitat conservation projects in priority systems in 2014

Goal Two: Manage reservoir systems to provide, protect and enrich quality of life for the American people.

Reservoir systems draw millions of Americans each year to the outdoors by providing a multitude of recreational opportunities including fishing, swimming, boating and other forms of water-based recreation.  As such, they serve as gateways to nature, offering endless opportunities to nurture an ethic of stewardship. Furthermore, they provide outdoor outlets for an increasingly urban population upon whose shoulders rests the future of conservation in America.

The objectives and targets that follow address the quality of life issues that pertain to the social and economic contributions of reservoirs and to the recruitment of citizens to the stewardship of reservoirs and their associated watersheds. They also set forth the general framework for the four region-specific implementation plans that will be developed by the Regional Workgroups during the partnership’s first planning cycle. Those plans will translate the broad objectives and targets listed below into concrete, measurable conservation actions aimed at conserving fish habitat in reservoir systems. Primary conservation actions that will be attained in the first 5-year planning cycle are listed separately at the conclusion of Goal Two.

Objective 2A – Develop environmental amenities, nature experiences, and wildlife-based activities and opportunities on lands adjacent to reservoir systems to engage and inform local communities and the visiting public on the values and benefits of healthy reservoir systems.

  • Target 2A1. Establish nature amenity partnerships to develop non-traditional nature-based recreational opportunities.
  • Target 2A2. Build reservoir-based volunteer corps to provide interpretation, education, and other nature-related assistance to the public.
  • Target 2A3. Promote volunteer shoreline cleanups.
  • Target 2A4. Develop educational curricula, nature programs, and outdoor fish and wildlife activities for adoption and implementation by reservoir management and volunteer services

Objective 2B –   Promote conservation of fish and aquatic resources to boaters and other water-based recreationists.

  • Target 2B1. Develop conservation-related programs and activities for boaters.
  • Target 2B2. Develop self-guided aquatic discovery trails for canoes and kayaks.
  • Target 2B3. Develop volunteer boating corps to assist in the conservation of fish habitat and aquatic resources; consider partnering with the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Objective 2C – Maintain and enhance public access.

  • Target 2C1. Support States in expanding angler and boater access areas and facilities.
  • Target 2C2. Provide public education on ethics and etiquette for access across private lands.

Objective 2D – Support recreational industries and related economic activities that advance watershed health and contribute to the conservation of fisheries and aquatic habitats in reservoir systems.

  • Target 2D1. Develop partnerships with industries and commercial endeavors that most affect or are most affected by reservoirs and their watersheds.
  • Target 2D2. Seek corporate support for the RFHP operations and projects.
  • Target 2D3.  Develop joint conservation ventures with corporate supporters.
  • Target 2D4. Consistent with other goals, identify and prioritize conservation projects that engage business stakeholders in a way that promotes both economic activity and watershed health.

2010 – 2014 Primary Conservation Actions for Goal Two

  • Develop and implement Friends of Reservoirs starting in 2010 (Targets 2A1, 2A2, 2A3, 2A4, 2B1, 2B2, 2B3, 2C2)
    • Friends of Reservoir Steering Committee established by June, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs framework and guidelines established by September, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs chapters established in 2 States (2010), 6 States (2011), 12 States (2012), 24 States (2013), 36 States (2014)
  • Outreach Committee complete Outreach and Communication plan by end of 2010 (Targets 2A4, 2B1, 2B2, 2D1, 2D2)
  • Establish technical assistance teams for policy and project support by end of 2010 (Targets 2C1, 2C2, 2D1)
  • Work with States to identify, augment, and fund needed additions to angler access to reservoirs and associated waters (Target C1)
  • Develop information network and exchange for sharing and dissemination of access management practices, appropriate strategies, and reservoir user practices and ethics by end of 2011 (Target 2C2)
  • Support project implementation starting in 2011 (Target 2D4 – see also last bulleted conservation action for Goal  One)
  • Establish and implement MOUs and other appropriate voluntary agreements for coordination of conservation action among major recreational businesses and reservoir-affiliated enterprises by end of 2012 (Targets 2D1, 2D3)

Goal Three: Develop and foster partnerships that implement landscape-scale approaches to the conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems.

Given that impairments to fish habitat in reservoir systems are often the result of activities that occur within the watershed, conservation actions must occur at landscape scales. Many government agencies, private organizations, businesses, local communities, and citizens recognize the value of fishery and other aquatic resources in reservoir systems and work diligently to conserve them. However, previous efforts to halt their decline have often been conducted independently. Coordination and cooperation by partners will provide synergism to these fragmented efforts and enhance the overall outcome by leveraging knowledge and limited available resources.

The objectives and targets that follow address the development of the RFHP partnership base and its scientific and technical capacities to assist reservoir managers and support local partners in reservoir-related fish habitat conservation actions. They also set forth the general framework for the four region-specific implementation plans that will be developed by the Regional Workgroups during the partnership’s first planning cycle. Those plans will translate the broad objectives and targets listed below into concrete, measurable conservation actions aimed at conserving fish habitat in reservoir systems. Primary conservation actions that will be attained in the first 5-year planning cycle are listed separately at the conclusion of Goal Three.

Objective 3A – Expand the partnership base of the RFHP to include additional States, relevant federal and tribal agencies, major non-profit and NGO organizations, recreational industries and industry associations, reservoir and power generation authorities, reservoir homeowner associations and home developers, municipalities and local businesses, local watershed associations and conservation groups, irrigators, and others affected by reservoirs.

  • Target 3A1. Prepare partnership outreach and development plan.
  • Target 3A2. Establish outreach and partnership developmental tools.

Objective 3B – Establish national and regional technological assistance, data sharing and information network capacities to support development and adoption of best management practices among managers and among individuals and organizations engaged in the conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems.

  • Target 3B1. Establish Memorandums of Understanding and other instruments of collaboration with established fish habitat partnerships, and other landscape-scale environmental ventures, to support fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems through communication networks, information sharing, and implementation of best management practices.
  • Target 3B2. Establish and maintain a RFHP operational database – coordinated with the national NFHAP fish habitat database – to store and make available to RFHP partners a broad range of reservoir data and information, including assessments, projects, and technical support materials.
  • Target 3B3. In collaboration with partners, prepare, distribute and periodically update a compendium of best management practices for fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems.
  • Target 3B4. Prepare and deliver training and support materials to managers and other stakeholders engaged in fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems.
  • Target 3B5. Establish and maintain an interactive RFHP web-site to foster collaboration, share and disseminate information, support training, develop communication networks, and support a national reservoir system fish habitat conservation database.
  • Target 3B6. Develop a national listserve to foster communication and networking among reservoir managers, reservoir stakeholders, and partners and participants in the RFHP.

Objective 3C – Support and participate in watershed planning initiatives to promote implementation of best management practices for conservation of fisheries and fish habitat in reservoir systems.

  • Target 3C1 – Partner with existing watershed alliances or facilitate the creation of watershed alliances in their absence.
  • Target 3C2 – Provide technical information/support to these watershed groups in promoting/implementing best management practices.

Objective 3D – To ensure practitioner awareness of and access to the RFHP and its support capacities, establish outreach to reservoir managers, relevant authorities and communities within reservoir systems, and other private and public stakeholders engaged in conservation of those systems and their fisheries.

  • Target 3D1. Proliferate internet linkages to the RFHP web-site.
  • Target 3D2. Build networks with reservoir-system-based conservation entities.
  • Target 3D3. Provide presentations to authorities, agencies, and conservation stakeholders through regional workgroups.
  • Target 3D4. Disseminate the RFHP listserve.

2010 – 2014 Primary Conservation Actions for Goal Three

  • Prepare and disseminate Reservoir newsletter and other partnership recruitment materials (Target 3A1,3A2,3D3)
  • Outreach Committee complete Outreach and Communication plan by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Complete recruitment of State and Federal partners in 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2
  • Establish partnership ties with 2 or more tribal agencies and one or more tribal associations by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Develop list of all watershed associations in the U.S. and submit informational mailings by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Develop list of reservoir homeowner associations and developers and submit informational mailings by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Develop list of all reservoir related major industries and industry associations and submit letters of invitation by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Develop list of all reservoir management and power generation authorities and submit letters of invitation by end of 2010 (Target 3A1, 3A2)
  • Establish technical assistance teams for policy and project support by end of 2010 (Targets 3B4, 3D3)
  • Develop information network and  exchange for sharing and dissemination of best management practices, appropriate technologies, and reservoir user practices and ethics by end of 2011 (Targets 3B3, 3B5, 3B6, 3C2, 3D4)
  • Establish and implement MOUs and other appropriate voluntary agreements for coordination of conservation action among all major reservoir regulatory and ownership authorities and other partnerships engaged in conservation impacting reservoir systems by end of 2012 (Targets 3B1, 3C1, 3D2)
  • Complete development of national reservoir fish habitat assessment and project database by end of 2012 (Target 3B2)
  • Develop first iteration of  tools, guidelines, methodologies and protocols for fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems by end of 2012; present at AFWA regional meetings of American Fisheries Society  (Targets 3B3, 3C2)

Goal Four: Develop and sustain institutional arrangements and sources of funding to support the long-term conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems

Large-scale habitat restoration and enhancement efforts are, by nature, long-term, expensive undertakings. Such projects typically cross jurisdictional boundaries and, hence, require a formal coordination process for implementation and efficient function. A stable, long-term source of funding is also needed to provide base funding and to leverage additional funds from agencies and local governmental and private partners.

Institutional support for the RFHP will come from two primary sources: the National Fish Habitat Action Plan and a Friends of Reservoirs Foundation and chapter affiliates. Each will provide essential institutional support to the RFHP: (1) a network of Fish Habitat Partnerships in which the RFHP can operate and from which it can receive support and (2) a Friends of Reservoirs to provide the RFHP critical bottom-up volunteer and fundraising support. In turn, the RFHP provides essential services to both the NFHAP and Friends of Reservoirs. Our partnership will help develop new sources of funding for the NFHAP and provide essential project support to all Fish Habitat Partnerships. Similarly, we will provide reservoir stakeholders an institutional framework in which they can advance their conservation interests and through which they can participate in the conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems.

The objectives and targets that follow establish the institutional foundation for supporting, implementing and sustaining the conservation mission of the RFHP. They also set forth the general framework for the four region-specific implementation plans that will be developed by the Regional Workgroups during the partnership’s first planning cycle. Those plans will translate the broad objectives and targets listed below into concrete, measurable conservation actions aimed at conserving fish habitat in reservoir systems. Primary conservation actions that will be attained in the first 5-year planning cycle are listed separately at the conclusion of Goal Four.

Objective 4A – Develop and formalize institutional relationships between RFHP and principle partners to establish landscape-level networks of communication and governance that will facilitate effective, efficient, and sustaining conservation of aquatic habitat in reservoir systems.

  • Target 4A1. Establish Memorandums of Understanding with all Fish Habitat Partnerships; establish appropriate collaborative agreements with partnerships unaffiliated with the NFHAP.
  • Target 4A2. Establish web-linking of relevant organizations and facilitate communication networks between all entities.
  • Target 4A3. Regularly convene joint partnership workshops at regional and State levels to share information, advance cooperation, and more effectively engage the full community of stakeholders.
  • Target 4A4. Coordinate legislative outreach to strengthen or create needed environmental laws and renew or upgrade existing federal funding for habitat restoration.
  • Target 4A5. Establish protocols and procedures for collaborative development and dissemination of best management practices and the sharing of data across management and political jurisdictions within reservoir systems.

Objective 4B – Identify and develop long-term funding opportunities for RFHP projects and operations.

  • Target 4B1. Establish a national foundation (through Friends of Reservoirs) to hold and distribute funding in coordination with the NFHAP for reservoir system fish habitat projects.
  • Target 4B2. Identify traditional sources of funding from government and non-profit grant-making foundations and develop/implement a short- and intermediate-term financial plan.
  • Target 4B3. Identify business partners within the recreational boating and fishing industry and develop fund-raising plan to meet intermediate- and long-term goals.
  • Target 4B4. Work with the NFHAP to identify and pursue non-traditional funding sources.
  • Target 4B5.  Establish a clearinghouse to match available funding sources and projects.

Objective 4CEstablish staff infrastructure to administer operations of RFHP.

  • Target 4C1. Hire full-time Coordinator to oversee routine functions of RFHP.
  • Target 4C2. Develop a pool of rotating part-time staff from States and other principle partners to support Coordinator.
  • Target 4C3. Activate permanent committees to coordinate major RFHP activities.
  • Target 4C4. Build voluntary mechanisms to support RFHP activities.
  • Target 4C5. Organize meetings to facilitate information exchange and conduct business within the partnership and with external partners.

2010 – 2014 Primary Conservation Actions for Goal Four

  • Establish RFHP operational staff in 2010 (Targets 4A3, 4C1-4C4)
    • Hire RFHP Coordinator
    • Identify and establish a volunteer, part-time staff support system on rotating basis drawn from the RFHP member agencies and organizations
    • Establish permanent committees (Outreach-Communication/Science-Data)
  • Develop and implement Friends of Reservoirs starting in 2010 (Targets 4B1. 4B2, 4B4, 4C4)
    • Friends of Reservoir National Foundation and Steering Committee established by June, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs national framework and guidelines for affiliated chapters established by September, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs 501(c)(3) tax exempt Foundation established by end of 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs chapters established in 2 States (2010), 6 States (2011), 12 States (2012), 24 States (2013), 36 States (2014)
    • Establish coordination between Friends of Reservoirs and the NFHAP for support of fish habitat projects in reservoir systems
  • Schedule and host partnership meetings starting in 2010 (Targets 4A3, 4C5)
  • Prepare a long-term financial plan for the RFHP (Targets 4B1, 4B2, 4B3)
  • Outreach Committee complete Outreach and Communication plan by end of 2010 (Targets 4A4, 4B2, 4B3, 4A4, 4B4, 4B5)
  • Develop information network and exchange for sharing and dissemination of best management practices, appropriate technologies, and reservoir user practices and ethics by end of 2011 (Target 4A2)
  • Establish and implement Memorandums of Understanding and other appropriate agreements for coordination of conservation action among all major reservoir regulatory and ownership authorities and other partnerships engaged in conservation impacting reservoir systems by end of 2012 (Target 4A1)
  • Develop first iteration of  tools, guidelines, methodologies and protocols for fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems by end of 2012 (Target 4A5)

Goal 5: Support education and outreach initiatives that advance public awareness and understanding of the value of healthy reservoir systems.

Effective conservation of fish habitat and aquatic resources in reservoir systems is dependent upon a public that is well-informed of the benefits of healthy reservoir systems and a citizenry that is well-prepared and properly enabled to act as stewards of those resources.  Effective public outreach and education by the RFHP at the national, regional and local levels will ensure a well-informed public that will garner support for conservation of reservoir systems nationwide.

The objectives and targets that follow establish the public outreach, citizen education, and policy development functions of the RFHP. They also set forth the general framework for the four region-specific implementation plans that will be developed by the Regional Workgroups during the partnership’s first planning cycle. Those plans will translate the broad objectives and targets listed below into concrete, measurable conservation actions aimed at conserving fish habitat in reservoir systems. Primary conservation actions that will be attained in the first 5-year planning cycle are listed separately at the conclusion of Goal Five.

Objective 5A – Advance public awareness of the economic, societal and ecological value and benefits of healthy reservoir systems

  • Target 5A1. Develop an outreach strategy, actions and support materials to improve public knowledge of the value of fishery and aquatic resources in reservoir systems.
  • Target 5A2. Support, and develop when necessary, programs to promote angling and other recreational opportunities available in reservoir systems.
  • Target 5A3. Establish e-based forums and public programs to improve public knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the agencies involved in the management of both reservoir systems and their associated resources.
  • Target 5A4. In support of the mission and principal goal of RFHP, develop programs, activities, and educational opportunities to ensure a broad base of public and political support for the conservation of fish habitat in reservoir systems.
  • Target 5A5. In partnership with others, develop web-based tools to increase public awareness of the location, access to and services provided by reservoirs.

Objective 5B – Advance public understanding of the connections between habitat quality in reservoir systems and land-use practices within their associated watersheds.

  • Target 5B1. Develop programs, activities, and educational opportunities to promote natural resource conservation and stewardship within watersheds.
  • Target 5B2. Design conservation actions and outreach to better inform private landowners, communities and the public, and encourage their participation through watershed planning and implementation teams in land and water conservation strategies and actions that improve or maintain habitat quality in reservoir systems.
  • Target 5B3. Develop and support education and outreach initiatives aimed at developing the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed to be responsible public stewards of fishery and aquatic resources in reservoir systems.

Objective 5C – Nurture a public that is well-informed and involved in current and emerging resource issues in reservoir systems.

  • Target 5C1. Support public education programs on the control of aquatic nuisance species.
  • Target 5C2. Identify, evaluate and report to the public the significance of emerging reservoir-related policy and conservation issues.
  • Target 5C3. Develop and implement programs to foster ethical use of aquatic resources by the public.
  • Target 5C4. Develop and disseminate position papers and action plans to address controversial and emerging reservoir-related issues.
  • Target 5C5. Monitor effectiveness in informing and involving the public in addressing key reservoir-related issues.
  • Target 5C6. Develop partnerships with non-traditional partners to implement cooperative aquatic habitat conservation projects and initiatives in reservoir systems.

2010 – 2014 Primary Conservation Actions for Goal Five

  • Outreach Committee complete Outreach and Communication plan by end of 2010 (Targets 5A1, 5A2, 5A3, 5B1, 5B2, 5B3, 5C1, 5C2, 5C5, 5C6)
  • Develop and implement Friends of Reservoirs starting in 2010 (Targets 5A3, 5A4, 5A5, 5B1, 5B2, 5C1)
    • Friends of Reservoir Steering Committee established by June, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs framework and guidelines established by September, 2010
    • Friends of Reservoirs chapters established in 2 States (2010), 6 States (2011), 12 States (2012), 24 States (2013), 36 States (2014)
  • Establish technical assistance teams for policy and project support by end of 2010 (Targets 5C2, 5C4, 5C5)
  • Develop information network and exchange for sharing and dissemination of best management practices, appropriate technologies, and reservoir user practices and ethics by end of 2011 (Targets 5A5, 5B3)
  • Develop first iteration of  tools, guidelines, methodologies and protocols for fish habitat conservation in reservoir systems by end of 2012 (Target 5C4)

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