SIFN was also created to leverage experience and resources among the 15 Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia. This network will become a tool to maximize positive impacts of instream flow policies on the region’s aquatic habitat
SARP recognizes that rivers require adequate water flows – known as “instream flows” – to sustain their health. To address impacts to natural flow regimes of aquatic ecosystems, SARP has identified implementation of protective instream flow policies as a priority strategy in the Southeastern Aquatic Habitat Plan. Instream flow policies are administered at the state level and lack national standards to protect natural systems. SARP intends to work with state-based partnerships to institute protective instream flow policies and provide science-based resources to implement those policies.
The objectives, to be achieved by the SIFN over a 3-year period, include the following:
Ø Bring state teams together to initiate and develop working relationships,
Ø Educate participants on the scientific basis of instream flow policy,
Ø Share instream flow policy-related tools & resources specific to state needs,
Ø Communicate among states to support and build on past experiences,
Ø Provide training for use of assessment tools to determine environmental impacts to hydrologic regimes and develop instream flow standards, and
Ø Produce guidance documents for development of effective instream flow protection policy and supporting programs.
Working with partners is key to the successful development and implementation of protective instream flow policies. SARP has joined with other organizations that have also identified protection of instream flows as a priority conservation strategy for southern aquatic habitats. These initially include the Instream Flow Council (www.instreamflowcouncil.org), The Nature Conservancy (www.nature.org), American Fisheries Society (www.fisheries.org), and Southern Company (www.southernco.com). Additional partners will be welcomed to the SIFN steering committee and state teams in the future.
For more information about SARP, SIFN and instream flow policy work in your state, visit www.sarpaquatic.org or contact Scott Robinson, the SARP Coordinator, at 770-361-5639 or firstname.lastname@example.org.