The Illinois Watershed Management Clearinghouse has just unveiled a new website. Combing the resources of University of Illinois Extension, Illinois EPA, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and C-FAR this new website promises to provide a one stop location for those interested in Illinois watersheds and their management.
"We wanted to make it simple and easy to navigate for those looking for information," said Susan Meeker, University of Illinois Extension Educator. "Now people can go to one place."
The website provides an array of information including tips for starting a watershed management group as well as plans that already organized groups have created.
"The site gives new watershed groups a framework and roadmap to success in watershed management," said George Czapar, University of Illinois Extension Educator.
The site, www.watershed.uiuc.edu, is an improvement and reorganizing of a previous website. New to this website is a watershed locator that gives contact information on local watershed groups on a county and regional basis.
"I think the local watershed group locator is one of the key strengths of the site," said Jodie Tate, University of Illinois Extension Educator. "It will help groups interact and exchange ideas."
The mapping tools linked in the website have been expanded and improved upon Tate said. These tools enable the browser to get a detailed map of their area and the watershed they live in.
"The mapping function is very easy to use," Czapar said. "You are able to see where you are in the state, the watershed you fall into and the watershed management group in the area."
A calendar of events allows groups to post activities occurring in their area and let it be known statewide. Czapar said the calendar is useful for those watershed groups wishing to engage other groups as well as share ideas and activities.
Watershed management is done at the local level and this website gives the many groups a common place to go for information. The site effectively combines the resources of four Illinois agencies into one organized site.
"By having a local watershed management group, local concerns can be addressed and dealt with by local stakeholders," Czapar said. "This website has a large amount of information that deals with a variety of aspects in watershed management."
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