Analysis of Storm Water Outreach Programs in the Upstate, South Carolina
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Public education and outreach are important components of most non-profit and government programs. This research project was motivated by a requirement of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program, which is a component of the Clean Water Act, which requires municipalities to include public education and outreach as components of their storm water programs. In this research project I posed the question: How can storm water management programs be designed to promote optimal outreach and education? I chose the programs offered by Upstate Forever as a focus of my research. Upstate Forever is a non-profit organization that operates in the ten-county region that comprises the upstate of South Carolina, and has partnered with many municipalities to provide storm water management outreach and education initiatives that meet the requirements set by the NPDES. In order to analyze the impact and effectiveness of Upstate Forever’s storm water public education and outreach programs; I designed a survey, with the input of Upstate Forever, to compare their Low Impact Development Series, Watershed Leaders Forums and Storm Water Symposiums. The survey was administered to former participants in these programs. I assessed the respondents’ level of knowledge of the workshop topic before they attended, the quality of the information presented, and whether or not the presentation would influence future behavior. The results of this study indicate that Upstate Forever’s outreach and education events have been well received and the participants believe that they have been very useful. The Low Impact Development series has had the highest attendance with participation dominated by industry (engineers / developers) and government officials. Results also indicate that to expand the scope and audience for their programs, Upstate Forever should increase their marketing to non-professionals and build in more networking/discussion time into the seminars.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectAnalysis of Outreach program
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