Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) is a planning and management framework that engages stakeholders within a particular watershed in a process to:
- Identify watershed restoration and protection needs and opportunities
- Establish management goals for the watershed community
- Create a cost-effective action plan to achieve goals
- Implement the action plan
WRAPS represents a shift from "top-down" government intervention in watershed issues, to a more citizen-stakeholder approach, in which funds, guidance and technical assistance are provided for stakeholders to reach consensus on issues of relevance in their watershed, and then design and execute a plan to address those issues.
K-State Research and Extension has been involved in initiating, modeling, performing economic calculations, compiling EPA WRAPS reports, and leading implementation efforts for watersheds across the state.
The purpose of a WRAPS report is to outline a plan of restoration and protection goals and actions for the surface waters of the watershed. Watershed goals are characterized as “restoration” or “protection”. Watershed restoration is for surface waters that do not meet Kansas water quality standards, and for areas of the watershed that need improvement in habitat, land management, or other attributes. Watershed protection is needed for surface waters that currently meet water quality standards, but are in need of protection from future
The WRAPS development process involves local communities and governmental agencies working together toward the common goal of a healthy environment. Local participants or stakeholders provide valuable grass roots leadership, responsibility and management of resources in the process. They have the most “at stake” in ensuring the water quality existing on their land is protected. Agencies bring science-based information, communication, and technical and financial assistance to the table. Together, several steps can be taken towards watershed restoration and protection. These steps involve building awareness and education, engaging local leadership, monitoring and evaluation of watershed conditions, in addition to assessment, planning, and implementation of the WRAPS process at the local level. Final goals for the watershed at the end of the WRAPS process are to provide a sustainable water source for drinking and domestic use while preserving food, fiber, timber and industrial production. Other crucial objectives are to maintain recreational opportunities and biodiversity while protecting the environment from flooding, and negative effects of urbanization and industrial production. The ultimate goal is watershed restoration and protection that will be “locally led and driven” in conjunction with government agencies in order to better the environment for everyone.
EPA approved Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies that have been compiled by K-State Research and Extension technical team: