December 21, 2016
The last quarter of 2016 has brought a whirlwind of activity among Delaware River Watershed Initiative partners. The process of planning for “Phase II” of the DRWI is in full swing, and with it comes an uptick in meetings and phone calls… meetings to plan for meetings and phone calls to plan for phone calls. From the development and roll-out of the Stream Reach Assessment Tool to iterative analyses and feedback of proposed Phase II Focus Areas, the Academy’s DRWI Science Support Team – especially Scott Haag, Will Ryan, Marie Kurz and myself – has been all over the watershed providing guidance and support to the clusters as they work on delineating Focus Areas and begin to think about monitoring and assessment. The increased collaboration with our partners has been intellectually invigorating; working through questions and concerns raised by cluster groups has resulted in some lively academic discussions back at the Academy, and while solid answers aren’t always found (though, more questions often are!), we are left with added excitement for what the future of the Initiative will bring.
It has been an intense process, and though it has filled up quite a bit of our schedules, it affords us the opportunity to strengthen the relationships we’ve built during the course of the DRWI. Many of you have gotten used to seeing me at cluster meetings over the past few years as the Academy’s monitoring and cluster support point person, and it has been my pleasure getting to know all the wonderful people who care so deeply about the Delaware Watershed. That said, it’s also been my pleasure to have some company on the road lately, and to introduce (or re-introduce) Scott, Will and Marie to the clusters.
Throughout the Phase II planning year (and beyond!) we will continue to provide support and guidance to cluster partners in the realms of planning, modeling, monitoring and data analysis. As we move into 2017, we are excited to work more closely with cluster partner groups, fostering the collaborative spirit that is a hallmark of this Initiative.