The Rocky River Watershed Council is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) watershed organization officially established in 2002. It is the only organization dedicated solely to the protection and restoration of the Rocky River Watershed.
The mission of the Rocky River Watershed Council is to protect, restore, and perpetuate a healthy watershed through public education, watershed planning, communication, and cooperation among stakeholders. Our slogan is “Preserve, Protect, and Restore.”
The Rocky River Watershed Council and its network of stakeholders share the vision that a healthy watershed benefits everyone. Through our specific knowledge about problems in the watershed that need to be remedied, we motivate this network to plan, implement, and maintain a healthy watershed in perpetuity. A consistent land-use plan makes it possible for everyone in the watershed to enjoy enhanced quality of life because there is less flooding, erosion, pollution, and habitat loss. Through our efforts to educate the community about the need to protect the watershed, find ways to improve it, and identify specific problems that need to be remedied, we make it everybody’s business to improve the watershed, including its biodiversity, sustainability, and water quality.
• A healthy watershed is essential to clean water and quality of life.
• We value open discussion among our stakeholders.
• We share our vision with stakeholders, and it is essential that they all help implement the vision.
The partnership coalesced out of the concern of citizens and agencies for the conditions in the watershed. While the Rocky River is widely known as a recreational asset for Northeast Ohio, owing in large part to the significant Cleveland Metroparks holdings, Ohio EPA monitoring and assessment in the 1990's confirmed what many stakeholders already knew – many parts of the watershed were in relatively poor condition. The initial watershed planning efforts were spearheaded by NOACA, which received an Ohio EPA planning grant in 2001 to develop a Watershed Action Plan. The process was strongly supported by Cuyahoga and Medina County SWCDs, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and Cleveland Metroparks, all of whom continue to support the partnership. A brief history follows:
2001 – The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) received a Section 319 planning grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) to develop a Watershed Action Plan and form the Rocky River Watershed Council (RRWC).
2002 – RRWC was formed.
2003 – RRWC elected board members to the Council.
2003 – The Cuyahoga County Board of Health received a Section 319 implementation grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to replace failing Home Sewage Treatment Systems and protect riparian corridors with conservation easements.
2003 – RRWC conducted its first watershed cleanup.
2003- RRWC held its first Watershed Festival.
2006 – OEPA and ODNR endorsed RRWC’s Watershed Action Plan.
2006 –Medina Soil and Water Conservation District received an Ohio-Lake Erie Commission grant for the Balanced Growth Initiative. RRWC was a partner on the application for this grant.
2006 – Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District received a grant from ODNR for a Watershed Coordinator to support the partnership and facilitate the implementation of the Watershed Action Plan.
2006 – RRWC underwent its first strategic planning process.
2007 – RRWC filed for incorporation with the State of Ohio.
2008 – RRWC granted 501(c)3 nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service.
2009 – Rocky River Upper West Branch Balanced Growth Plan endorsed by State of Ohio.