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As coastal communities in the south become more populated, there are increasing pressures to develop previously undisturbed areas. Every day, local elected and appointed officials are making critical decisions pertinent to land use planning and natural resources. These community leaders continuously face many challenges interpreting how activities on the local landscape impact the water quality of nearby streams, lakes, and rivers. The South Carolina Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (SC NEMO) program, adapted from a highly successful program developed by the Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service and Connecticut Sea Grant Program, was introduced to local decision-makers in 1999.

SC NEMO is an educational program that provides information to help local decision-makers understand the impacts of nonpoint source pollution on water quality, the link between those impacts and land use, and some innovative ways to manage for those impacts. The program is being developed through a series of §319 grants and collaborative partnerships among the SC Sea Grant Consortium, Clemson University, the Waccamaw Regional Planning and Development Council, USC Center for Environmental Policy, USC Earth Science and Resources Institute, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments.

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