White River Report Card


By assessing and grading the health of the White River and its surrounding landscape and tributaries, we hope to inspire change that improves and protects our watershed.

The White River Report Card

Just how healthy is the White River Watershed? How does the health of the White River around my community compare to that of a downstream or upstream community? What can be done to improve the health of the river and its surrounding landscape and tributaries? Those are all questions that we hope to answer with the White River Report Card.

Similar to the report cards of our youth, the White River Report Card will be an assessment and communication tool created to help us understand how the White River, and its relationship with the communities along it, are doing. The report card is being developed by bringing together community, business, industry, political, agricultural, conservation, and utility stakeholders to assess the watershed. The report card will be used to communicate community progress, align partners and activities, and inspire change that improves our river and its watershed and protects our economy and way of life.

The White River Report Card is a first for the White River, however, the process is being modeled after and developed with the help of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES), which has led numerous report card initiatives for waterways around the world. The development of the report card follows a proven 5-step process to identify values, threats, and indicators that affect the river’s health and vitality. The process is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

 

 

Three broad categories, each with a set of measurable indicators, will be used in the report card to grade the watershed.

  • Land – including agriculture, development, and natural habitat
  • Water – including the quality of water, how much is available, and how it’s managed
  • Community – including quality of life, economic activity, access and activation of the river by people

To gather information about the river, watershed, and communities, a series of stakeholder workshops were held in the spring of 2022 to identify core values and key threats, as well as the indicators that could be used to assess those values and threats. Work is now underway via topic-focused working groups to select measurements for the indicators, identify data sources, and assign thresholds for the grades.

For more about the White River Report Card, its partners, development, and how to get involved, click on the Learn More button below.

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