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Center for Watershed Protection Introduces New Professional Association
The Center for Watershed Protection announces the launch of the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Management Professionals (AWSPs). AWSPs is a new professional association intended to further the watershed management profession.
By: Chris Swann
The Center formed AWSPs in response to the increasing demand from clients and partners for a central organizing body focused specifically on the continuing education of watershed management professionals. “We consistently hear from our local government partners that they are overwhelmed with information from the hundreds of websites and publications out there, most of which are only tangentially related to watersheds. They need someone to filter that information for them to provide them directly with the resources and training they need to do their jobs.” says Hye Yeong Kwon, Executive Director of the Center.
Surprisingly, the majority of people doing watershed work weren’t trained in this field – most are planners, geoscientists, engineers or educators who got into this line of work indirectly or as a volunteer – while others are elected officials, developers or even lawyers whose jobs sometimes require knowledge of watershed-related issues and solutions. “Very few professionals in this field actually have a degree in watershed management and this is something we’d like to change. We feel that watershed management deserves to be validated as a profession in its own right. It is both a science and an art.” says Kwon. AWSPs will include a special membership rate for students in the hopes of enhancing education for the next generation of watershed managers.
Perhaps the biggest draw for new members is the opportunity to provide input on the scope and focus of technical resources provided by the Center, the only national organization serving the watershed management community. Recipients of the Center’s services are quick to cite the value of this tailored support for watershed management efforts. “I feel like we'll be able to do an even better job of getting local citizens involved in protecting our natural resources,” says Matt Hudson of the Bad River Watershed Association, of the recent technical assistance provided to his organization by the Center. Current AWSPs members are already providing input to the direction of the inaugural issue of Watershed Science Bulletin.
For additional information on the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals, visit www.awsps.org or contact Chris Swann at 410-461-8323.
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The Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. is an award-winning, national, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed in 1992. The Center’s mission is to protect, restore, and enhance our streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and bays by creating viable solutions and partnerships for responsible land and water management. The Center a recognized national leader in providing technical assistance, guidance and training to local governments, watershed organizations and others working to protect and restore their watersheds.