back to papers & articles
Pilot Project Final Report Waccamaw
Outputs and Results
Status reports have been completed and submitted to DHEC as a regular
and continuing part of the NEMO program. They provided an opportunity
to examine project progress and to provide context for activities within
the NEMO framework. Copies of all submitted status reports are included
in Appendix 11.
n July 2000, a paper was also written for, published by, and delivered to the 17th Annual Coastal Society Conference in Portland, OR. The paper was entitled Linking Land Use to Water Quality in South Carolina. A complete copy of the published paper is provided in Appendix 12.
The formal NEMO presentation received the 2001 AT&T Communication Award for South Carolina. The award was presented by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents at their annual conference in Atlanta (Appendix 13). The NEMO program also received the 1st Place 2001 Communication Award for Clemson University.
Workshop Evaluation - Following each workshop, evaluations were conducted to ascertain the immediate level of educational program success. These results could later be contrasted with the overall program survey that would be conducted at the conclusion of the pilot NEMO project grant period. The evaluation instrument (Appendix 14a) contains eight (8) questions, designed to determine presentation effectiveness, comprehension, and willingness of participants to use the information provided in their future land use decisions. The aggregated results of the workshop evaluations are provided in Appendix 14b. Figure 4 shows that 94% of attendees rated the overall NEMO presentation as very good or good.
Figure 4 Overall NEMO Presentation Question
Figure 5 Usefulness of Information
Figure 6 Determining Decision Making
NEMO Program Evaluation In order to ascertain overall NEMO program success, a survey instrument (Appendix 15a) was designed in consultation with the NOAA Coastal Services Center and National NEMO Network staff in Connecticut. The survey would target all participants who attended any of the three (3) workshops. In some cases, survey respondents may not have been exposed to the NEMO program in over two (2) years. The goal was to determine if information was retained by participants and the degree to which it was being used in their decision-making processes. The results of the entire survey are included in Appendix 15b.
Figure 7 shows questions 2a and 2b. Question 2a reaffirms the results of the post-presentation survey, while question 2b points out that a large percentage of participants believe that this knowledge may eventually lead to land use changes in their respective jurisdictions.
Figure 7 NEMO Program Effectiveness
Seventy-one (71) surveys were sent out to NEMO workshop participants. Despite follow-up telephone calls, the return rate was only 30%. While not a complete return rate, the NEMO team feels confident in the reliability of the results.
Additional Results - In 2000, the NEMO team received notification that the City of Conway had adopted a new landscape ordinance as a direct result of NEMO. Senior Planner Jason Collins indicated that City of Conway Zoning Ordinance 11.1040 came about after local officials attending a NEMO meeting. The new ordinance requires newly constructed on-site retention ponds to utilize native wetland vegetation around their perimeter to protect water quality. Copies of the notification letter, a photograph of vegetation installation, and a complete copy of the ordinance are included in Appendix 16.
The progress and outcomes of the pilot NEMO project continue to bear fruit long after the grant period has ended. On May 2, 2002 the principle investigator for NEMO provided a presentation at the Stakeholders Meeting for Stormwater Management in Georgetown County. NEMO team members have been asked to participate in the drafting of a stormwater management plan by the City of Surfside Beach. Team members served on the City of Georgetown Visioning Committee, which looked at crafting the revisions to their comprehensive plan. NEMO Team members have responded to countless requests for information and technical assistance. We anticipate these contributions will continue into the future.
The biggest challenge for the future of NEMO will be to continue to generate interest from elected and appointed officials. Our evaluation and survey results point to an extraordinary level of education and approval. Despite these numbers, the primary difficulty is to ensure a high percentage of NEMOs target audience actually attend the programs. If only 20% of the invited officials participate, have we truly achieved our goal? We need to explore additional methods for attracting and retaining high levels of participation.