Section 319 grant projects are required to include appropriate measures to gauge the effectiveness of the project. These measures can be divided into two categories: Outputs and Outcomes. Outputs are the “beans” of a project- the number of brochures distributed, the dollars spent, the attendance at an outreach event or even the number of BMPs installed. The outcomes are the ultimate impacts of those outputs on water quality. When possible, it is best to estimate the Measurable Environmental Results, or MERs, in terms of both the outputs and the resulting outcomes.
In many cases, this involves water quality, biological, habitat and/or other environmental monitoring. This includes: generating new environmental data through water quality and/or biological monitoring activities, using existing environmental data from other sources (secondary data), using computer and/or other models to characterize environmental conditions, and creating new geo-spatial data and/or using existing geo-spatial data from other sources.
Depending upon the type of project and the goals of the project, environmental monitoring may not be appropriate to determine the effectiveness and success of a project. Additional types of activities include: tracking land use changes, before and after pictures of restoration work; conducting surveys of stakeholder knowledge; or other types of monitoring specific to the goals of the project.
If the project will be implementing BMPs that will directly reduce sediment and nutrient runoff, grant recipients may utilize the spreadsheet application entitled USEPA Region 5 Pollutant Load Reduction Model or the STEPL model to provide, when applicable, sediment and nutrient load reductions for each BMP implemented during the project.
For our reporting purposes, any implemented BMPs must also be georeferenced so that we can estimate load reductions on a watershed basis. The spatial locations can be entered into an ArcGIS project, or else marked on a paper map that is submitted to the Program. If you have any questions concerning the georeferencing of best management practices associated with your project, please contact the NPS Program.
Sources of NPS pollution documentation: