Our Road Map to a Healthy Watershed: The Rocky River Watershed Action Plan
When it’s done right, community-based watershed management is a lot like planning a family vacation. First, you have to decide where to go. Next, how to get there– will you take any side trips? Interstate or back roads? Where will you stay along the way? What will the seating arrangement in the car be? If everyone is going to enjoy the trip, or at least not complain and pout the whole way, then each family member’s interests and desires must be incorporated. The bigger the family, the harder it becomes to keep everyone happy. Now imagine your family is the entire Rocky River Watershed, with all or part of four counties, 16 municipalities and 14 townships spread out over 294 square miles with more than 160 recognized miles of stream. Throw in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, NASA’s Glenn Research Center, about 250,000 people and countless businesses and community groups, and all of a sudden you’ve got a BIG family...
And that’s what makes the Rocky River Watershed Action Plan (RRWAP) such an asset: everyone who wanted a seat at the table has agreed upon where we want to go — restoring water quality and aquatic habitat in impaired stream reaches while preserving those same qualities in healthy segments of the watershed — and how to get there — the protection and restoration of riparian corridors, reduction of the amount of nutrients and fecal bacteria that enter the streams, and the increase in public awareness and involvement in the stewardship of the watershed. The RRWAP, endorsed by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2006, also indicates which problems affect each of the major subwatersheds. What remains to be done is to identify and prioritize opportunities within specific stream reaches and small catchments, and along the main stem of the Rocky River itself, where specific actions can be taken to remedy these localized impairments.
2010 Updates to the Rocky River Watershed Action Plan:
Additional Plans and Reports (click on the plan name to link to the plan and/or to download a PDF copy):
The Rocky River Upper West Branch was one of four pilot watersheds selected by the Ohio Lake Erie Commission to develop a Watershed Balanced Growth Plan. The overall goal of the project is to develop a tool for preserving a healthy watershed while promoting a strong, diversified economy.
As the name implies, this management plan is for the Cleveland Metroparks Lake-to-Lake Trail, which connects Lakes Abram and Isaac. Lays out a multi-year, multi-phase approach to restoring and managing the Upper Abram Creek area.
Establishes nutrient load reduction targets for Plum Creek near Olmsted Falls and provides discussion and recommendations regarding the watershed’s other impaired steam segments and lakes.
Establishes load reduction targets for fecal bacteria throughout the watershed. This report has not been formally approved by USEPA.
Summarizes the watershed-wide sampling activities conducted in 1997 as part of Ohio EPA’s Five-Year Basin Program.
Summarizes the watershed-wide sampling activities conducted in 1992 as part of Ohio EPA’s Five-Year Basin Program.
Classification of Primary Headwater Streams Using the Headwater Habitat Evaluation Index in the Rocky River Watershed, 2002 (Cuyahoga County Board of Health)A total of nineteen headwater streams were surveyed in the Rocky River Watershed in North Royalton.