Call for Participation - Ohio River Basin-wide Strategic Plan

From: Harry Stone <>
Date: Thu, May 9, 2019 at 11:31 AM
Subject: Ohio River Basin Research and Education Goal

Thank you for your efforts related to research and/or education in the Ohio River Basin. For those of you with long engagement with the Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA), this communication is an update. For others, please consider this an introduction. For each of you, this is an invitation to participate. I am able to report to you that the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), with $150,000 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, have signed the $400,000 Planning Assistance to States (PAS) agreement "For Development of an Ohio River Basin-wide Strategic Plan.” Laura Mattingly, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)/Louisville District is the Project Manager. I am serving as the ORSANCO/ORBA lead. 

There is coordination and interest across USACE including the Great Lakes and Ohio River Basin Division and the four Districts in the Ohio River Basin - Pittsburgh, Huntington, Louisville, and Nashville. ORSANCO’s eight member states approved the project and are expected to significantly engage, and ORSANCO is reaching out to engage other states in the Basin. 

From ORBA’s perspective, the outcome of the project will be used to establish a collaborative strategy that enables the region to speak with a unified voice in order to help ensure the protection of the incredible natural water resources that make up the Ohio River Basin, grow our economy, and secure critical funding to accomplish our shared vision. 

While some details on process are still being worked out, I am providing this “heads up” on where I think we are and what I anticipate will be the next steps.


The mission of the Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA) is to “Maintain a successful collaboration that will recommend strategies and coordinate actions to address complex water resource challenges and priorities in the Ohio River Basin with a unified voice.” ORBA has collaboratively developed eight strategic goals related to: water supply; flood control and risk reduction; economic growth; healthy ecosystems; world class nature-based recreation; water transportation; research and education; and change adaptation/resilience
One goal in the strategy is to: “Ensure that research and education adequately informs Ohio River Basin-wide economic, social, and environmental decisions; enhance the profile of education organizations in the basin; and synergize efforts to garner effective public involvement in the stewardship and management of the Basin’s resources."

While I know some of you have interest in other goals as well, this e-mail is focusing just on the research and education goal. (Please let me know of other goal areas where you want to be engaged.)


First Steps for Focus on this Goal:

Identify Stakeholders for this Goal. “Stakeholders include any member of the public that might be able to affect, are affected by, or are interested in the results of the (…) planning process.” 

Here is the first place we need your help. Clearly we need to reach out to various state and Federal agencies, but what other organizations, collaborations, and individuals should we include as stakeholders in this regional goal? Can you help us reach out to them? (Contacts and/or introductions would be appreciated.) You can respond to

Focus Group: After we expand our stakeholder group, USACE will hold charette-style planning sessions to clarify the priorities and strategies for the goals. You can expect an invitation to participate.

We welcome your input on the content and implementation of this collaborative strategy. You may also share this communication with others.

Thank you again for considering participation in this exciting initiative for the Ohio River Basin - and for the research and education that you champion. 

To receive updates on the PAS and other ORBA activities, you are invited to become an ORBA Member (free) by clicking here:  ORBA Member Registration. For more information on ORBA visit our webpage at


Harry Stone

ORSANCO/ORBA PAS Project Manager

*Image - This summer you may notice several blue barrels floating by the Dam. Those barrels are part of an ongoing mussel study that is being conducted through a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.



AFLOAT On The Ohio