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NEMO Pilot Project Results

The Waccamaw watershed pilot project included three "formal" workshops. These workshops were comprised of various items including a presentation. On June 28, 1999, the first formal workshop was held for officials from throughout Georgetown County at the Waccamaw Council of Governments (COG). The second formal workshop was held for officials along the Grand Strand on June 19, 2000, at the Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach. The final formal workshop was held on September 20, 2001, for Horry County Officials at Coastal Carolina University in Conway.

The workshop presentations included six (6) different sections:

1. The Impacts of Development on the Water Cycle
2. The Constituents of Polluted Runoff
3. Land use Impacts on Water Quality
4. Using Watersheds as a Framework
5. The Importance of Imperviousness
6. What Elected and Appointed Officials Can Do

The final section included detail about the three-tiered NEMO strategy for coping with polluted runoff. Attendees were presented with information on natural resource based planning, the importance of innovative site design, and finally the implementation of BMPs and remediation where it can be most effective.

Pilot Project Workshop Evaluation

Pilot Project Workshop Evaluation - Following each formal workshop, evaluations were conducted to ascertain the immediate level of educational program success. The evaluation results were aggregated for all three formal workshops. Highlights from those results are shown below.

Figure 1 shows that ninety-four percent (94%) of attendees rated the NEMO presentations as either very good or good.

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Figure 1 - Overall NEMO Presentation

Figure 2 shows that the educational and strategic information provided during the NEMO presentations were either very useful or somewhat useful to ninety-eight percent (98%) of respondents.

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Figure 2 - Usefulness of Information

Figure 3 shows that one hundred percent (100%) of attendees found the information presented in the presentations to be mostly understandable or easily understood.

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Figure 3 - Level of Understanding

Figure 4 represents the most important question asked: "Would you use the information presented today in your decision-making process?" This question was designed to determine the level to which the individual community leaders who participated in the NEMO program, would use the information and strategies presented to them. Figure 4 shows that respondents overwhelmingly indicated that they would consider community planning, site design, and use of BMPs when they make land use decisions.

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Figure 4- Determining Decision Making

Pilot Project Survey

Pilot Project Survey - In order to ascertain overall NEMO program success, a survey was administered to all formal workshop participants. 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 survey response rate was thirty percent (30%) . While not a complete return rate, the NEMO team feels confident in the reliability of the results (see below).

Figure 1 shows that ninety-four percent (94%) of respondents felt as though the NEMO workshop in which they attended provided them with new information related to reducing stormwater pollution in their municipality or county.

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Figure 1 - Providing New Information

Figure 2 shows that ninety-four percent (94%) of the respondents think the NEMO program would be beneficial to other members of their community to participate in.

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Figure 2 - Involving Others

Figure 3 probably shows the most positive reinforcement for the NEMO program. One hundred percent (100%) of those surveyed indicated that they would recommend the NEMO program to others. The SC NEMO team was very pleased with this particular result.

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Figure 3 - Recommending the Program to Others

Figure 4 shows that the NEMO program provided ninety-four percent (94%) of survey respondents with the tools necassary to address polluted runnoff in their communities. "No responses" to this particular question comprised the other six percent (6%).

nemo evaluation chart
Figure 4 - Providing the Needed Tools

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 attended 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. Photo of vegetaton installation, the ordinance language, and copy of notification letter (Word document).

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 the NEMO program provided a presentation at the Stakeholders Meeting for Stormwater Management in Georgetown County. NEMO team members have also been asked to participate in the drafting of a stormwater management plan by the City of Surfside Beach. Team members also served on the City of Georgetown Visioning Committee, which looked at crafting the revisions to their comprehensive plan. In addition, NEMO Team members have responded to countless requests for information and technical assistance. We anticipate that each of these contributions will continue into the future.

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