The Saco River Watershed covers an area of approximately 1,071 square miles in Maine and New Hampshire. The Saco River begins in headwater streams in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and flows for 120 miles to the Gulf of Maine. From the Headwaters to the Sea people working in organizations, communities, governments, and businesses are committed to sustaining treasured qualities of the Saco River Watershed. These groups comprise a Stewardship Network for the Saco motivated by goals to maintain a watershed that continues to produce clean, healthy waters for people and for wildlife.
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the idea of forming a Saco Watershed Collaborative by bringing together members of the diverse groups who care about the Saco and its future. The goal of forming a Saco Watershed Collaborative is to increase the collective impact of this Stewardship Network by working strategically on shared goals. Participants in the workshop will have an opportunity to learn from each other and provide input into the development and design of a Saco Watershed Collaborative. The University of New England will use the results of this workshop to collaborate with interested groups throughout the watershed to carry the ideas of this meeting forward into the inaugural year of the Saco Watershed Collaborative.
Objectives of meeting:
1. Participants will identify the important values of the Saco Watershed and how their work contributes to sustaining those values.
2. Participants will learn about the Salmon Falls Watershed Collaborative and how the work of this group can serve as a model to jump-start the formation of a Saco Watershed Collaborative.
3. Participants will evaluate examples of Action Strategies for protecting water for relevance to their work in the Saco Watershed.
4. Participants will identify priority challenges they are facing in their work - focusing on the 2017-2020 timeframe.
5. Participants will work together to identify shared challenges that would benefit from collaborative action.
6. Participants will provide input to a plan of action for the inaugural year of the Saco Watershed Collaborative that will amplify the work they are already doing in the watershed.
Who should attend? Leaders and representatives from groups working from the headwaters to the sea who are committed to sustaining the special qualities and health of the Saco Watershed.