Watershed Needs Assessment

From 2019-2021, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance conducted a needs assessment to better understand the needs of watershed groups in the Hudson River watershed. This work was funded by a grant from the Hudson River Estuary Program and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

The purpose of this study was to delve more deeply into the specific issues facing watershed groups. Through semi-structured interviews and focus groups, we spoke with 56 Hudson River watershed group leaders and regional partners about watershed group challenges, barriers, needs, strengths, and accomplishments. 

The Watershed Needs Assessment Report is a report-out of the information that we heard from interview and focus group participants. All content expressed within the report came directly from participants, and is not based on Hudson River Watershed Alliance interpretation. The Watershed Needs Assessment Appendix includes direct quotations from participants, organized by theme. It offers rich details on specific challenges, barriers, needs, strengths, or accomplishments within the report, and is best used as a database for querying specific questions. We have kept all participant information confidential.

The Hudson River Watershed Alliance will use this information to develop programs and technical assistance, which will help watershed groups meet challenges and barriers, leading to a community of effective watershed advocates and stewards. The Alliance will also share the results with a wide range of partners, particularly those that may be able to help meet the needs expressed here.

We also shared lessons learned during this project on watershed group strengths and accomplishments through the Work on Watersheds report. This report highlights the diverse ways that watershed groups are making a difference. The WoW report’s stories illustrate the broad range of roles that watershed groups play and the outcomes they achieve. 

Emily Vail, executive director of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, presented an overview of the Watershed Needs Assessment methods and findings at our breakfast lecture series on March 10, 2022.