It's a unique challenge to educate the public when it comes to plant based solutions to stormwater management. Most of these features exist naturally throughout our watershed, but often, go unnoticed or under appreciated. In a watershed where the majority of land is under private ownership, not understanding the land-water connection is problematic. It's important for residents to be able to identify these best management practices, whether natural or man made, in order to understand their importance to clean water. In an effort to passively raise awareness, a series of nine best management markers (10" x 13" aluminum signs) were designed and will be installed in various public spaces. Raising awareness will likely make the public more willing to protect these natural features, or install them on their own properties.
Equally important, is for citizens and residents to understand that no matter where they call home, they live in a watershed. In an effort to spread the word about the White Clay, road signs were installed in select locations throughout the watershed over a decade ago. An inventory and assessment of existing watershed signage was conducted over the past year to determine the presence or absence of signs at known locations and assess their conditions. Over the next year seventeen signs will be replaced. In some cases this was long overdue.
Knowing your watershed, it's specific challenges, as well as the many benefits it provides, is key to making good land use decisions. The White Clay Creek is a source of drinking water for tens of thousands of people regionally. It is unique, in that it is a National Wild and Scenic watershed. It is home to many species (some rare, threatened, and endangered). Its core, the bi-state preserve, is largely intact with mature forests and several miles of recreational opportunities. Some of it's headwaters are deemed high quality and ecologically valuable. It has a rich history, and most importantly, it has the support of local government to work together to implement the watershed management plan.