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Advisory committee to assist MWCD with grant awards

October 7, 2009

An advisory committee consisting of experts in watershed planning will assist the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) with the review of proposals for funding from the MWCD “Partners in Watershed Management Project Assistance Program.”

“The Technical Review Advisory Committee will be a great asset in the process of identifying and prioritizing projects for consideration under the program,” said Boris E. Slogar, MWCD chief engineer. “Experts in the field of floodplain management, watershed management and water quality, dam safety and flood control, and green best management practices will serve on this committee to evaluate proposals as part of the selection and prioritization process.”

Members of the MWCD Board of Directors approved the creation of the volunteer advisory committee during a recent meeting held on the campus of Kent State University-Tuscarawas at New Philadelphia. Board members will receive the recommendations of the advisory committee for consideration and approval of grant awards as part of the MWCD’s Amendment to the Official Plan.

Up to eight members will be appointed to the advisory committee by the Board of Directors and will meet at least annually with Slogar to review proposals in the watershed partners program, Slogar said.

In an effort to support the work of agencies and groups involved in conservation programs, water quality issues, and flood reduction and mitigation projects, MWCD developed the watershed partners program. It provides assistance to local communities, agencies and groups involved in projects and programs that support the conservation and flood-reduction aspects of the mission of the MWCD.

In 2009, the MWCD has awarded funding to projects for the reduction of the flow of pollutants and aluminum into Piedmont Reservoir, for the removal of homes from a floodplain region in Carroll County, and for a flood reduction and water quality project in Stark County.

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state of Ohio, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for public uses in the Muskingum River Watershed, leading to the construction of 14 reservoirs and dams several years later. The MWCD is a partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the operation of the system of dams and reservoirs in the watershed, as the USACE operates the dams and the MWCD manages most of the reservoir areas behind the dams.

Since their construction, the dams and reservoirs have prevented more than $7 billion worth of property damage from flooding, according to the USACE.

The 18 counties wholly or partially contained in the MWCD jurisdiction are Ashland, Belmont, Carroll, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Harrison, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Wayne and Washington.

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