Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Kentucky Streams and Wetlands: A Comparative Study of State-wide Conservation Efforts from 2005 to 2015

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Through the process of analyzing past survey and field interview data collected approximately 10 years ago for the State’s streams and wetlands planning process, (McSpirit 2009), the following themes have emerged: 1) Funding: This is the most recurring concern relating to all efforts and has been characterized as the main predictor of the success of any program or organization relating to conservation/restoration efforts. 2) Education: Experts have pointed to adoption of regular curriculum in all phases of primary education, as well as education of politicians and other decision makers. Education of land owners is also emphasized. 3) Regulations: Another recurring concern, mostly centering on not the creation of new or tougher regulations, but tighter enforcement of existing ones, and streamlining of various processes. 4) Partnerships: Included here for the time being are related concepts, such as continuing and strengthening of inter-agency partnerships, but also better communication and cooperation with citizens, especially farmers and others who have a stake in these matters. In this poster presentation, we will share the findings from this study of past interviews and will also share our plan to repeat and update this streams and wetlands study. We plan to interview key stakeholders and agency officials again, ten years later, to determine whether any progress has been made in protecting the streams and wetlands of eastern Kentucky, as well as uncover persistent barriers to this progress as well as potential present-day solutions. This work will form the basis of an Honors Thesis in the coming academic year at Eastern Kentucky University.

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Kentucky Streams and Wetlands: A Comparative Study of State-wide Conservation Efforts from 2005 to 2015

Through the process of analyzing past survey and field interview data collected approximately 10 years ago for the State’s streams and wetlands planning process, (McSpirit 2009), the following themes have emerged: 1) Funding: This is the most recurring concern relating to all efforts and has been characterized as the main predictor of the success of any program or organization relating to conservation/restoration efforts. 2) Education: Experts have pointed to adoption of regular curriculum in all phases of primary education, as well as education of politicians and other decision makers. Education of land owners is also emphasized. 3) Regulations: Another recurring concern, mostly centering on not the creation of new or tougher regulations, but tighter enforcement of existing ones, and streamlining of various processes. 4) Partnerships: Included here for the time being are related concepts, such as continuing and strengthening of inter-agency partnerships, but also better communication and cooperation with citizens, especially farmers and others who have a stake in these matters. In this poster presentation, we will share the findings from this study of past interviews and will also share our plan to repeat and update this streams and wetlands study. We plan to interview key stakeholders and agency officials again, ten years later, to determine whether any progress has been made in protecting the streams and wetlands of eastern Kentucky, as well as uncover persistent barriers to this progress as well as potential present-day solutions. This work will form the basis of an Honors Thesis in the coming academic year at Eastern Kentucky University.