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Initiative II – Priority Work Group 3: Public awareness of water issues

The Initiative II, Priority Working Group III ‘Public Awareness of Water Issues’ continues to work as a collaborative team of researchers and UF/IFAS Extension agents to affect positive behavior change across the state of Florida regarding issues of water resource management. We discuss UF/ IFAS programs aimed at empowering and educating community leaders who influence policy changes regarding water management issues in their local communities. We also discuss programs focused on educating local residents on water conservation practices and promoting sustainable behavior changes. Two of the programs we focus most on include the Water Schools Program and the Watershed Stewards Program. Main focus of the Water Schools program in 2018 will address the need for policy change in local areas regarding water resource management.

You can find a summary of 2017 accomplishments made by members of our team at the following link (please notes that this is a summarized list and is not all-inclusive of every team members' work):

Posted February 12 2018

To help you with writing impacts, PDEC just added two resources: Guidelines for Writing Impacts and an Impacts Rubric.

Posted August 07 2015

The Water DROPs committee held a conference call on April 28th to discuss next steps and to start developing a strategy for moving forward on development of the DROPs. The team is excited to continue working on this project and we have some timelines to help us succeed in creating several DROPs by the end of the year. The group has divided themselves in Water Quantity and Water Quality teams that will use the DROPs inventory to start developing information and scripts for these two broad water topics. The focus will be on providing a DROP for water quality and water quantity for each program area (ex. 4H, FCS, Ag, Hort, Natural Resources, etc.) that is specific to that program areas expertise and audience. If you're interested in being part of the Water DROPs committee, please email Holly Abeels at

Posted April 30 2015

The Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) group is working on finalizing a curriculum outline which will lead the way for the development of content materials. The committee has also begun the to work on the creation of an evaluation tool for the program. The program will be piloted in Spring 2016 in the Tampa Bay area.

For more information or to join the WSA committee please contact Lara Milligan, Committee Chair, at

Posted April 29 2015

The Water School Committee has successfully offered two In-Service Training's with a combined attendance of 14 individuals. Participants of these IST's left with the tools necessary to design and implement a Water School in their county.

If you are interested in starting a Water School in your county, please contact the Water School Committee chair, Chris Martinez, for information and resources

Posted April 07 2015

The DROPs committee currently has a draft working inventory document that is being reviewed by all team members and will help guide the committee on developing the DROPs PowerPoints, handouts, etc. for agents to utilize in their programming. The inventory lists topics under existing programs and target audiences for those programs. DROPs will use these existing resources and information to create DROPs based on topic areas. Draft DROPs will hopefully be developed by the end of the year.

Posted March 17 2015

I have contacted each of our Public Awareness of Water Issues committee chairs and requested an updated membership.

If you feel your name should be on the membership list at the right, and it is not, please contact the committee chairs to let them know you are interested in participating. In addition, if you see your name on the list and feel you no longer have the interest or time to work on these priority teams, please contact me ( to let me know you need to be removed.

If you see this list and think someone ELSE should be included, please contact that person and let them know they should contact the committee chair. This list was updated based on the current participation level and expressed interest in each committee. It does not necessarily reflect the amount of effort, or lack there of, of listed members or unlisted faculty.

Committees and their chairperson:
- Watershed Stewards Committee: Lara Miller,
- Statewide Water School Program Committee: Chris Martinez,
- Water DROPs Committee: Holly Abeels,
- Youth Watershed Committee: Not Active

Posted March 02 2015

The Water DROPs (Delivery-Ready Outreach Plug-ins) signature program is preparing for a breakout session at EPAF in August. If you are interested in developing water resources outreach materials for all of the program areas, please plan to attend. More details to come, contact Judy Ludlow or Shannon Carnevale for more information.

More detail on Water DROPs (last updated 9/2013):
Create short, adaptable, informative, “modules,” or “DROPs,” that can be plugged into
to any program area. They will contain clear, concise, consistent, and targeted
information on Water Awareness for a variety of audiences throughout Florida. The
“Modules”, or” DROPs” should be designed to fit into any topic with subject matter
related to water awareness with the aid of program area representatives. The DROPS
should enhance the ‘branding’ power of UF/IFAS Extension’s Initiative 2: Enhancing
and Protecting Water Quality, Quantity and Supply.
The audience for this program is the current and future audience of every UF/IFAS
Extension program area. The DROPs will provide a way to reach audiences outside of
traditional water related program areas (i.e. 4-H, FCS, Agriculture, etc.).

Posted June 03 2014

We are applying for some funding to support the planned pilot program for the Watershed Stewards Academy. The funding is available through Stormwater Education Projects of the Florida Department of Transportation. We plan to pilot the program in late winter/early spring of 2015 in the Tampa Bay region.

Posted May 29 2014

Please use the tutorial in the Resources Archive to familiarize yourself with the Team Pages. Contact PDEC (352-392-0386) if you have any questions.

Posted October 29 2013

Plan of Action

Associated Extension Faculty

Team Members

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