TITLE: Center for Watershed Protection

Access: http://www.cwp.org/

Founded in 1992, the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) provides information and technical tools for small watershed protection. Watersheds are regions of land that channel rainwater into streams, river systems, and lakes. Urban sprawl and poor community development planning threaten these fragile landscape features. Because damage to small watersheds adversely affects the quality of our drinking water, impairs recreational and commercial fishing, contributes to severe flooding, and threatens fragile ecosystems, responsible watershed management is a crucial component of community development planning.

A non-profit corporation, CWP disseminates multi-disciplinary technical tools and information designed to help protect small watersheds "from the detrimental effects of sprawling development." Through workshops, articles on current watershed protection research, development of plans to protect and restore watersheds, response to requests for watershed advice, and advocacy for improving local development rules, CWP has achieved notable success. In the past decade, CWP has trained 15,000 people, completed 30 watershed research projects, disseminated 30,000 copies of technical publications, and published 150 technical articles.

CWP's site is a rich resource of information useful in mitigating the impact of development. The site will be of interest to local government staff, environmental activists, students, researchers, and small watershed managers. Watershed assessment, water resource planning, land conservation, use of aquatic buffers, responsible site design, erosion control, stormwater treatment practices, control of non-stormwater discharges, and watershed stewardship are the primary foci of CWP's site, publications, and programs. University, college, high school and public librarians will find the site to be a valuable information resource.

The CWP site is newly designed. Simple to navigate, it is well organized and attractive. The primary navigation tool is a banner of wildlife photos at the top of the page; the borders of the banner contain clearly worded links to the Web site's components. Links on the homepage lead to information about CWP products and publications, the CWP newsletter, and a calendar of current workshops. Unfortunately, the site does not provide links to other useful sites like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Wetlands, Oceans, & Watersheds site (http://www.epa.gov/owow/), the American Water Resources Association (http://www.awra.org/), and Purdue University's "Know your Watershed" (http://www.ctic.purdue.edu/KYW/). Links to maps and sources for information about local, state, and national watershed laws and regulations would also be useful. Despite the limitations inherent in self-contained sites, the CWP site is quite useful and is a highly recommended resource.

Susan Case
University of Kansas
scase@ku.edu


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