5.0 Goals and Policies

The Board of Managers has developed the following general goals and policies to guide development and implementation of this Plan revision as well as other planning and management activities.  The eleven subwatershed plans include an evaluation of these goal areas specific to the unique conditions within these management areas.  These general goals and policies are developed in more detail in each of the eleven subwatershed plans.

Goal 1 - Abstraction/Filtration

Promote abstraction and filtration of surface water where feasible for the purposes of improving water quality and increasing groundwater recharge throughout the watershed.

  1. Promote abstraction as the preferred method of stormwater management wherever feasible and appropriate.
  2. Develop methods to facilitate abstraction and infiltration, minimize risk and create awareness of its benefits.
  3. Discourage the creation of impervious surface adjacent to surface waters or in areas where infiltration is particularly ideal.
  4. Encourage the conservation of green space within development and creation of green space within redevelopment.

Goal 2 - Ecological Integrity

Promote activities which maintain, support and enhance floral, faunal quantity and ecological integrity of upland and aquatic resources throughout the watershed.

  1. Increase the ecological integrity of the environmental resources within MCWD.
  2. Incorporate considerations of ecological integrity into decision making and land use planning.
  3. Manage water quality and quantity to meet the needs of the ecosystems and water resources of MCWD.
  4. Utilize the best available scientific data to conserve high quality habitat and improve degraded habitat through projects and programs.

Goal 3 - Water Quality

Conserve, maintain and improve aesthetic, physical, chemical and biological composition of surface waters and groundwater within the District.

  1. Establish individual water quality goals for water resources based on both the realistic potential for the individual resource as well as its historic use to meet human and natural resource needs.
  2. Evaluate water resources using appropriate parameters to gauge progress towards meeting the established goals.
  3. Manage the impacts from land use, development and stormwater runoff to meet the established goals.

Goal 4 - Public Health

Minimize the risks of threats to public health through the development of programs, plans and policies that improve the quality of surface and groundwater resources.

  1. Manage water resources to meet the requirements of their designated use.
  2. Incorporate considerations of public safety and health into decision making.

Goal 5 - Water Quantity

Maintain or reduce existing flows from drainage within the watershed to decrease the negative effects of stormwater runoff and bounce from existing and proposed development as well as provide low flow augmentation to surface waters.

  1. Establish individual hydrograph and water quality goals for subwatersheds based on both the realistic potential for that resource as well as its historic use in order to meet both the human and natural resource needs of the waterbody.
  2. Manage resources to achieve balance between excessive flow and insufficient flow volumes.
  3. Maintain vigilance with regard to flooding, minimizing impacts to low flow while protecting the public from dangers of flooding.

Goal 6 - Shorelines and Streambanks

Preserve the natural appearance of shoreline areas and minimize degradation of surface water quality which can result from dredging operations.

  1. Preserve and enhance the natural appearance and function of shorelines and streambanks.
  2. Preserve and enhance wildlife, fisheries, and recreational resources of surface waters.
  3. Surface water quality and ecological integrity of the riparian environment should not be compromised as a result of stabilization practices.
  4. Assure that improvement of shoreline and streambank areas to prevent erosion complies with accepted engineering principles in conformity with Department of Natural Resources construction guidelines.
  5. Encourage and foster the use of bioengineering, lakescaping and conservation of natural vegetation as preferred means of stabilizing shorelines and streambanks.
  6. Discourage the use of beds and banks of waterbodies for the placement of roads, highways, and utilities.

Goal 7 - Navigation

Maintain the hydraulic capacity of and minimize obstruction to navigation without compromising wildlife habitat in water courses and preserve water quality and navigation appearance in shoreland areas.

  1. Encourage the coordination of various government agencies in maintaining the minimal required capacity for historical and safe use of watercraft on priority resources.
  2. Regulate the application of dredging as a tool for navigation to minimize impacts to the environment and consider alternatives to dredging wherever possible.

Goal 8 - Best Management Practices

Improve water quality by promoting best management practices (BMPs) requiring their adoption in local plans and their implementation on development sites.

  1. Promote site design associated with land disturbing activities which minimizes impacts to water resources.
  2. Require stormwater management facilities to be included in land development projects where practical and effective.
  3. Manage stormwater and snowmelt runoff on a regional or subwatershed basis throughout the watershed to: a) promote effective water quality treatment, where feasible, prior to discharge to surface waters; b) limit developed peak rates of runoff into major surface waters to less than or equal to existing peak rates; and c) promote infiltration of both precipitation and runoff.

Goal 9 - Education and Communications

Enhance public participation and knowledge regarding District activities and provide informational and educational material to municipalities, community groups, businesses, schools, developers, contractors and individuals.

  1. MCWD will develop, approve and maintain a strategic education and communications plan which will be reviewed and evaluated annually.
  2. Effectively inform the general public, legislators, County Commissioners, and City officials in the eleven subwatersheds of MCWD about water resources management issues as well as MCWD projects, programs and rules using the most effective communications tools and tactics available.
  3. Target groups in which education can change behavior and positively affect the habits and activities of individuals in the watershed community.
  4. Use science-based information for discussions with communities about water resource issues and MCWD programs, projects and rules.
  5. Promote the most appropriate Best Management Practices (BMPs) for use within each subwatershed and communicate strategically about how to put them into practice.
  6. Continue to inform the general and community news media about programs, capital projects, issues, rules, controversies and crises with appropriate news releases, graphics and media relations.

Goal 10 - Public Ditches

Maintain public ditch systems within the District as required under Statutory jurisdiction.

  1. Regularly inspect the public ditches of MCWD and maintain as needed to adjust for changes within the regulatory scope and authority under Statute.
  2. Evaluate, consider, and where feasible incorporate ecological benefits into the improvement of public drainage systems.
  3. Upstream storage, detention and infiltration will be preferred to and evaluated in comparison to restoring drainage capacity relative to drainage maintenance or repairs.
  4. Drainage improvements and maintenance with localized benefits will be funded through assessment to the benefited properties and in most cases require a petition signed by the majority of the benefiting property owners.
  5. MCWD will seek to abandon ditches where appropriate and redefine ditches within the watershed as streams where natural conditions dominate in the context of State Law.

Goal 11 - Wetlands

Preserve, create and restore wetland resources and maximize the benefits and functionality of wetlands to the watershed.

  1. Achieve no net loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of existing wetlands in the watershed.
  2. Increase the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of MCWD wetlands by restoring or enhancing diminished or drained wetlands.
  3. Avoid direct or indirect impacts from activities that destroy or diminish the quantity, quality, or biological diversity of wetlands.
  4. Mitigate historical impacts to wetlands by replacing or providing substitute wetland resources or environments as feasible.
  5. Promote competent administration of the Wetland Conservation Act within the watershed.

Goal 12 - Groundwater

Protect and maintain existing groundwater flow, promote groundwater recharge and improve groundwater quality and aquifer protection.

  1. Protect groundwater resources through coordinated efforts among appropriate agencies.
  2. Encourage infiltration as a preferred method of stormwater management in a manner consistent with source well protection areas; and avoid infiltration where such action may pose a threat to public health.
  3. Protect groundwater flow regimes and their relationships to surface water resources.
  4. MCWD will take groundwater quality impacts into consideration in its decision making.

Goal 13 - Floodplains

Reduce the severity and frequency of flooding and high water by preserving and increasing the existing water storage capacity below 100-year flood elevations on all waterbodies within MCWD.

  1. Preserve existing water storage capacity below 100-year high water elevations on all waterbodies in the watershed to minimize the frequency and severity of high water.
  2. Minimize development below 100-year high water elevations that will unduly restrict flood flows or aggravate known high water problems.
  3. Mitigate historical losses in floodplain volume and promote the conservation and restoration of floodplain habitat where feasible.
  4. Promote uniform and consistent application of floodplain regulation throughout the watershed.
  5. Promote the natural functions and benefits of floodplains.

Goal 14 - Recreation

Promote the recreational use, where appropriate, of surface waters within MCWD by providing recreation opportunities for citizens by promoting the use and enjoyment of water resources with the intent of increasing the livability and quality of life within the watershed.

  1. Coordinate with entities that manage parks and recreation to facilitate environmentally appropriate use of surface waters within MCWD.
  2. Sponsor activities, where appropriate, that promote the awareness and use of surface waters.
  3. Cooperate with other agencies in minimizing the spread of harmful exotic species.

Goal 15 - Erosion Control

Control temporary sources of sediment resulting from land disturbance and identify, minimize and correct the effects of sedimentation from erosion-prone and sediment source areas.

  1. Minimize, in area and duration, exposed soil and unstable soil conditions.
  2. Minimize disturbance of natural soil cover and vegetation.
  3. Protect receiving waterbodies and wetlands by retaining sediment at its source.
  4. Retain sediments from disturbed areas on site.
  5. Minimize off-site sediment transport related to land use.
  6. Minimize work in and adjacent to waterbodies and wetlands.
  7. Maintain stable slopes.
  8. Avoid steep slopes and the need for high cuts and fills.
  9. Minimize disturbance to surrounding soils, root systems and trunks of trees and shrubs adjacent to site activity that are intended to be left standing.
  10. Minimize the compaction of soils.

Goal 16 - Regulation

Promote effective planning to minimize the impact of development and land use change on water resources as well as achieve watershed District Goals.

  1. Conserve the water resources of the District by assuring compliance with District Rules in the performance of activities which affect water resources.
  2. Develop and apply regulatory standards that focus on results that assist MCWD in fulfilling its mission, goals and defined objectives.
  3. Require land use and development methods that minimize impacts to the environment and water resources.

Goal 17 - Public Input

Solicit input from the general public with the intent that policies, projects and programs will address local community values and goals as well as protect historic and cultural values regarding water resources; strive to manage expectations; base decisions on an educated public; foster an educated and informed public within the watershed.

  1. Allow citizens to voice their opinions or concerns for the record within the context of a public hearing or meeting; the MCWD Board of Managers will consider these opinions and concerns in its decision making.
  2. Appoint and utilize the MCWD Citizens Advisory Committee as a body representative of the general populace and sensitive to the desires and needs of the citizens within the MCWD.
  3. Take measures to engage communities and seek participation in District activities.