Guidance incorporating watershed principles directs the Corps' planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, restoration, rehabilitation, regulatory, natural resources management, emergency management, and water control management activities. Numerous tools are available to help Corps managers engage in all these activities. The information in this section is provided to build both the Corps' NRM and water resource planning toolboxes. The tools identified under each section are available to others from various disciplines to enhance watershed collaboration internally and externally.
There are a number of tools available to the Natural Resource Management community to facilitate partnerships within the watershed. The NRM Gateway is an excellent resource for partnership information specific to the Corps' NRM programs. The NRM Gateway section on Partnerships can provide authorities and "how-to" guidance for developing partnerships within the watershed.
The Corps draws upon the Planning Principles and Guidelines codified in the Planning Guidance Notebook (ER 1105-2-100, updated April 22, 2000) to achieve the Federal water and related land resources project planning objective of "contributing to national economic development consistent with protecting the nation's environment…" (p. 2-1). The programs outlined in the Planning Guidance Notebook include:
The Project Partnership Kit serves as an introduction to potential sponsors on how to better understand the Corps organization and authorities, missions and programs and the project development process by which projects are planned, designed, constructed, and maintained, and the Project Delivery Team process.
The online Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides access to a database of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); Federally recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. Numerous resources are available for conservation and community development activities in watersheds. Grants.gov is a similar "electronic storefront" for Federal grants covering all interests including watershed initiatives and partnerships.
Various specific federal clearinghouses, such as the Water Quality Information Center at the National Agricultural Library (U. S. Department of Agriculture), publish comprehensive lists of available resources for watershed-applicable work, such as their Website for Funding Sources for Water Quality.
Many federal granting agencies provide specific assistance and leads for acquiring tools and resources. The EPA is an example. The Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection is posted on their Website and is a searchable database of financial assistance sources (grants, loans, cost-sharing) available to fund a variety of watershed protection projects. To select funding programs for particular requirements, use either of two searches below. One is based on subject matter criteria, and the other is based on words in the title of the funding program. Criteria searches include the type of organization (e.g., non-profit groups, private landowner, state, business), type of assistance sought (grants or loans), and keywords (e.g., agriculture, wildlife habitat). Searches result in a listing of programs by name. Click on each program name to review detailed information on the funding source. The EPA's Capacity Building Resources Program recognizes that watershed groups and local governments need a range of tools, in addition to funding, to effectively manage their local land and water resources. This Website is designed to assist groups in developing knowledge by providing a compendium of Web-based and printed resources and tools.
Many State (or local) governments possess specific funding initatives intended for natural resource conservation including watershed-based work. One example is the state of Illinois' Conservation 2000 Program (C2000), begun in 1995 as a comprehensive, six-year, $100-million initiative, designed to take a holistic, long-term approach to protecting and managing Illinois' natural resources. With overwhelmingly positive support for the program, in 1999, House Bill 1746 was signed into law in August of 1999 extending the C2000 Program until the year 2009.
Many State and local governments, and non-government organizations publish comprehensive listings of available resources and tools. Examples include funding sources listed on the Websites of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, or the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. There are a multitude of other similar resource catalogs and listings offered by almost all State and local governments around the country.
Funding is available for basic research in understanding watersheds and concepts such as managing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), multiple stressors, stormwater management, and watershed-based pollution trading. For example, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) supports environmental professionals with an interest in advancing science and engineering in the water quality arena. By funding such research, organizations such as WERF help to inform not only water resource managers, but also regulatory agencies and other parties interested in water resource decisions being based on the best possible scientific grounds.