Hilo Bay Watershed Advisory Group Activities

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by Mr. Tom Young
Chairperson, Hamakua Soil & Water Conservation District
at the Hawaii Water Quality Conference 2008

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Hilo Bay Watershed Advisory Group Activities

  1. 1. THE HILO BAY WATERSHED ADVISORY GROUP
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION <ul><li>Comprised of a partnership of concerned citizens and organizations in Hilo </li></ul><ul><li>Organized with a steering committee, general membership, and advisors </li></ul><ul><li>Steering committee and general membership (show and tell) meeting are held monthly </li></ul><ul><li>Monthly presentations keep the interest alive </li></ul>
  3. 4. Hilo Bay Watershed Map
  4. 5. Water Quality Issues Point Source and Non-point Source Comes from many diffuse sources End-of-pipe discharges from sewage treatment plants
  5. 6. HBWAG MISSION The purpose/mission of the Hilo Bay Watershed Advisory Group shall be to bring the community together to understand and protect the ecology of the Hilo Bay Watershed. VISION Future generations will enjoy a cleaner Hilo Bay, cleaner streams, and a watershed that supports both human activities and the natural ecosystem. Stewardship of the Hilo Bay Watershed will be embraced by all members of the community. Our community will better understand, protect, nurture, utilize, and enhance the Hilo Bay Watershed through a cooperative effort based on ecosystem processes and the community’s needs and cultural values. CUSTOMERS The HBWAG’s ‘customers’ include the Hilo Bay Watershed, community, property owners, governmental and non-governmental agencies…essentially, all the stakeholders who affect and are affected by the watershed.
  6. 7. HBWAG Beginnings from Hilo Bay Watershed Project Public Input Final Report, May 2004 Gather Public Issues and Solutions Public Input Report Restoration Plan Development Project s Water Quality Meets Standards Background File DOH Identifies Waters Not Meeting Water Quality Standards EPA Grant Program
  7. 8. HBWAG Beginnings Human Activities/ Impact Priority 2 Human Activities Problems Priority 3 Natural Factors Soluti ons Hilo Bay Watershed Health Priority 1 Watershed Management Source: Hilo Bay Watershed Project Public Input - Final Report - May 2004 Public Input Report Conclusions Not Identifiable In 2004
  8. 9. HBWAG Beginnings <ul><li>Public meetings generated public input report </li></ul><ul><li>HBWAG Supported draft of Watershed Restoration Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Public awareness = public participation </li></ul>
  9. 10. HBWAG Operations <ul><li>Steering committee meets monthly to plan direction and activities </li></ul><ul><li>By-laws govern organization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decisions are by consensus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many steering committee members also participate on sub-committees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities are resource limited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize issues/activities via strategic plan </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>To seek Partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>To engage in collaborative problem identification and solutions </li></ul>OVERARCHING STRATEGY
  11. 12. <ul><li>To promote comprehensive watershed management principles </li></ul><ul><li>To identify and resolve watershed and water quality problems </li></ul><ul><li>To propose solutions based on scientifically based information and research </li></ul>OVERARCHING STRATEGY
  12. 13. <ul><li>To strive to increase group membership </li></ul><ul><li>To foster community participation in learning about and improving conditions in the watershed </li></ul><ul><li>Develop working relationship with local SWCD groups </li></ul>OVERARCHING STRATEGY
  13. 14. OUR VISION
  14. 16. OUR PROCESS AWARENESS
  15. 17. OUR PROCESS <ul><li>Keep community informed </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent problems through education </li></ul>Prevention
  16. 18. ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  17. 19. WHAT HBWAG is Doing <ul><li>Organized and partnered with Envision Downtown Hilo 2025 to restore and maintain storm drain stencils </li></ul>
  18. 20. WHAT HBWAG is Doing <ul><li>Cleaning up beaches and ocean </li></ul>
  19. 21. WORK in PROGRESS <ul><li>Developing website www.hilobaywatershed.org </li></ul><ul><li>One stop shop for sharing on-going research and activities with community plus helpful links </li></ul>Under Construction
  20. 22. WHAT HBWAG is Doing <ul><li>Collecting and analyzing water samples from local streams </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: 720 Data points from ephemeral and year-round streams </li></ul>
  21. 23. <ul><li>Have streams deemed “impaired” and listed in 303(d)/305(b) report by DOH to USEPA </li></ul>Why do stream monitoring Stream Monitoring Benefits <ul><li>To provide data points that can substantiate if impairment exists </li></ul><ul><li>To obtain base line data for future comparison </li></ul>
  22. 24. <ul><li>Recording bank erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing findings with community </li></ul><ul><li>Gathering evidence to provide link between erosion and turbidity </li></ul>WHAT HBWAG is Doing
  23. 25. Erosion Issues <ul><li>Heavy episodic rainfall </li></ul><ul><li>create hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance of flood control </li></ul><ul><li>channels need to be addressed </li></ul><ul><li>Potential property damage and </li></ul><ul><li>Pollution is the result of neglect </li></ul>
  24. 26. Erosion Issues <ul><li>Natural occurrences are not addressed in the TMDL formula </li></ul><ul><li>In stream, stream bank, and shoreline erosion are major </li></ul><ul><li>contributors towards high levels of turbidity in the receiving waters </li></ul>
  25. 27. Shoreline Erosion <ul><li>Continue to </li></ul><ul><li>monitor and report </li></ul>
  26. 28. Environmental Stressors <ul><li>Stream Bank and Shore Line Erosion are the largest visible contributing factors </li></ul><ul><li>During Large Rainfall Events it is reported that a flush of wastewater pollution has been evident for a short time and generally clears up in a couple of days </li></ul><ul><li>(DOH Testing) </li></ul><ul><li>Hilo’s Wastewater system has critical areas that need expansion and coverage. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of maintenance in stream and flood control channels </li></ul>
  27. 29. LESSONS LEARNED <ul><li>Organization must be dynamic and flexible </li></ul><ul><li>There are never enough volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships are essential </li></ul><ul><li>Money may limit activities </li></ul><ul><li>Success is achievable </li></ul>
  28. 30. HBWAG Volunteers <ul><li>THANK </li></ul><ul><li>YOU! </li></ul>
  29. 31. HBWAG Partners <ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul><ul><li>Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council </li></ul><ul><li>Hawaii County Department of Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Water Supply </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA and Mokup ā papa Discovery Center </li></ul><ul><li>Envision Downtown Hilo 2025 </li></ul><ul><li>Hilo and Waikea High School Teachers and Students </li></ul><ul><li>Hamakua SWCD </li></ul><ul><li>Hilo DOH Clean Water Branch </li></ul><ul><li>UH Hilo Marine science Lab </li></ul>
  30. 32. Our Vision – Healthy Beaches Hilo Bay front Beach Park as it is and not as it is perceived
  31. 33. IN CONCLUSION <ul><li>Continue developing partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Promote community activities </li></ul><ul><li>Increase awareness and knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Add capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Promote SWCD participation in water quality monitoring </li></ul>DEPT of PLANNING ISSUE or PROBLEM Partners & Co-Operators HBWAG BIRC&D U of H @ HILO SWCD DOH Expertise Facilitation Research Support Sponsor Monitoring

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