North Carolina has more than 1,700 watersheds of varying sizes and hundreds of organizations, agencies and individuals dedicated to protecting those watersheds. We believe watershed protection and restoration efforts can benefit (and will multiply!) if watershed professionals and volunteers on the ground have meaningful opportunities to effectively communicate, collaborate or share data.
The NC Watershed Stewardship Network is a collaborative partnership. Its strength comes from its members and the valuable knowledge and experiences they bring to the network.
Our stuff, your stuff. These are the documents that define us, like our strategic plan. See what a logic model looks like!
Our newsletters share success stories and ideas, grant, training, and volunteer opportunities. If you want us to shout something from the rooftops, send it our way. We’ll share it in the newsletter or social media.
We’re motivated to come together to make a difference in North Carolina’s waters and the people who love them. As a result of our work together:
- More people are leading and working on watershed projects.
- People begin and sustain local watershed efforts in all areas across NC, including those areas that have not experienced watershed management due to lack of resources.
- Local watershed efforts are sustained by diverse and balanced sources of funds and resources.
- Stewards collaborate broadly for greater success protecting waters.
- People make decisions that protect water resources while improving community health and economic development.
How We Work
The NCWSN is a collaborative partnership, recognizing that we each come to the table with a part of the solution. We work towards our goals by:
- Providing online tools to connect people and share resources
- Fostering partnerships among public, private and nonprofit watershed stakeholders
- Maximizing skills of a diverse network of watershed professionals and volunteers through training and networking
- Assisting stakeholders to leverage limited resources to more efficiently improve watershed health
- Communicating on the ground watershed efforts and program successes
In 2013, the UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), the Division of Water Resources in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR), Watershed Education for Community and Officials (WECO) of the NCSU Cooperative Extension, and the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) surveyed watershed stewards and heard calls for a network that would enhance watershed protection across the state.
The partners then convened a day-long brainstorming session with watershed leaders from across the state, resulting in the creation of a collaborative statewide effort called the North Carolina Watershed Stewardship Network (WSN).
Following the session, participants representing environmental nonprofits, councils of government, universities, and state and local environmental agencies created a leadership team and began working to expand the reach of the network. To encourage forward momentum and strengthen WSN, WRRI and IE provided funds for staff to coordinate strategic planning, marketing, organizational development, and creating networking and training services.
More recently, WRRI and NC Division of Water Resources have been supporting staff time to coordinate efforts of the WSN. Products and events that work towards WSN’s mission are created by volunteer teams.