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National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series

NEIWPCC, through a grant from EPA, hosts a webinar series focused on key topics for state, territory, and tribal 303(d) and TMDL programs and other partners who work with these programs.

The series of informational webinars began in 2016 through a cooperative agreement with EPA. NEIWPCC convenes a planning team of state and EPA staff to discuss topics and framework for future webinars to make the series as valuable as possible to our target audiences.

Please stay tuned for our next webinar.

Apply to present a webinar

Are you doing interesting work related to TMDLs or the 303(d) Program? Tell us your idea and you could present at our next webinar!

Webinars should be relevant to people working in state, tribal, or federal 303(d) and TMDL programs. We welcome applications from anyone interested in presenting and are able to provide funding of up to $1,500 to eligible applicants. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; the planning team reviews them quarterly and will reach out to applicants as they are selected.

For more information, read the full request for proposals. To apply, visit our Call for Applications page or email us with information about your idea.

For additional information about this project, the application process, or upcoming webinars, contact Courtney Botelho.

Webinar Archives:

Click the links below to find information, recordings, and supporting material from our previous webinars. You can also watch most of our previous webinars on our YouTube channel.

NEIWPCC and the EPA do not directly or indirectly endorse any product, service, or any other entity mentioned in any of the programs in this series.

Using Climate Change-Informed Precipitation Metrics for Water Quality Planning

On Jan. 11, 2022, Michelle Miro, Ph.D., water resources engineer at the RAND Corporation, presented on using precipitation metrics in water quality planning activities such as TMDLs. Miro’s presentation focused on incorporating climate projections into intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves. She demonstrated using future projected IDF curves developed for the Chesapeake Bay watershed as a case study to illustrate how to use climate projections and think about future climate scenarios and uncertainty for planning and design.

View Webinar Recording
Presentation Slides (PDF)

Meaningful State-Tribe Communication on Water Quality Issues 

On Sept. 29, 2021, three speakers provided perspectives on government-to-government communication and relationship building between states and tribes to address water quality issues:

  • Bruce Jones of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) spoke about his work to coordinate data management with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and NWIFC member tribes in support of the Salmon and Steelhead Habitat Inventory and Assessment Program. He also discussed his approach to effective communication with Washington State agency staff over his decades of work in this arena.
  • Nancy Schuldt of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa presented on the Fond du Lac Band’s ongoing efforts to have the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency include impaired wild rice waters in their 303(d) lists, and recent actions by the Tribe and EPA Region 5 to ensure that these waters are appropriately listed and restored.
  • Elizabeth Betancourt of California’s Central Valley Regional Water Board shared lessons from the process she’s developed and led to establish Tribal Beneficial Uses in collaboration with the more than 100 Tribal communities in her region, including the steps she’s taken to build policy support for the program at the Tribal, regional, and state level.  

View Webinar Recording
Presentation Slides – Bruce Jones (PDF)
Presentation Slides – Nancy Schuldt (PDF)

Solving Impervious Cover Impairments: Using Policy, Apps, Partnerships, and Education to Improve Water Quality 

On April 5, 2021, Chet Arnold, David Dickson, and Michael Dietz from the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) presented a webinar on strategies for improving water quality in watersheds dominated by impervious surfaces.

Runoff from impervious surfaces is a major contributor to nonpoint source pollution in surface water bodies. Addressing these impairments is challengrequiring innovative solutions. For years, the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) has been developing new ways to improve water quality in densely developed watersheds. Join CLEAR Director Chet Arnold and Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) co-directors David Dickson and Michael Dietz for a webinar on strategies to address impervious cover impairments. They’ll discuss lessons learned from the 2007 impervious cover TMDL for Eagleville Brook and their work using smartphone apps, municipal partnerships, and education programs to implement green stormwater infrastructure, low impact design practices, and other strategies for reducing impervious cover and improving water quality. 

View Webinar Recording
Presentation Slides

Environmental Justice in 303(d) Implementation: A case study from Georgia’s South River

On March 29, 2021, Dr. Jacqueline Echols, Board President of the South River Watershed Alliance, presented a webinar on Environmental Justice under 303(d) and TMDL programs and the Clean Water Act as a whole.

The South River flows through two heavily developed municipalities, the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. For decades, it has been on Georgia’s 303(d) list of unhealthy waters due to fecal coliform bacteria and PCBs from combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff. Despite TMDL plans in place since 2002 to restore water quality, the river still does not meet the state’s lowest water quality standards. Communities of color bear the brunt of this ongoing pollution. For example, a federal Clean Water Act consent decree only includes a deadline to eliminate sewage pollution in the predominantly white sections of DeKalb County and has no deadline for eliminating sewage pollution in two-thirds of DeKalb County where most African Americans reside.

View Webinar Recording
Presentation Slides
Cities, Creeks, and Erasure: Stream Restoration and Environmental Justice (Moran, 2010)

Approaches to Temperature TMDLs

Warming rivers threaten ecosystems and wildlife. Trout, salmon, and other economically and culturally important species depend on cold water to survive and reproduce. A growing number of states are developing plans to address the human activities at the root of this warming: deforestation, urbanization, industrial activities, agricultural practices, and climate change.

On August 11, Jonathan Leiman and Anna Kasko of the Maryland Department of the Environment presented on their process for developing temperature TMDLs, from monitoring to modeling to implementation. Laurie Mann and Ben Cope of EPA Region 10 also shared their work to address temperature impairments using TMDLs across the Pacific Northwest.

View Webinar Recording
Presentation Slides– Maryland Department of the Environment (PDF)
Presentation Slides – EPA Region 10 (PDF)

Making the Most of the Media

On April 29, 2020, Eric Eckl introduced public relations and digital media techniques for working with journalists. Eric Eckl is the founder and owner of Water Words That Work, LLC and has more than 20 years’ experience planning and executing environmental outreach and communications programs.

The news media plays a major role in shaping Americans’ opinions about their water and the people who are responsible for it. How can water quality professionals help shape the stories journalists tell about their work? 

Webinar recording available on request (email Courtney Botelho for access.) 
Presentation Slides (PDF)
Presentation Handout (PDF)
Media Engagement Tips from Webinar Attendees (PDF)

Social Media Outreach

On Jan. 9, 2020, Kerry Reed, Ali Clift, and Eric Eckl gave a presentation on social media outreach focused on their “ThinkBlue” stormwater education campaign.

To solve water quality problems, public engagement is key. It’s easier than ever to create engaging educational materials for the public, but how can you make sure you’re getting the right message to the people who need to hear it?

Kerry Reed, of the City of Framingham, MA Department of Public Works, Ali Clift, of the Cumberland County, ME Soil and Water Conservation District, and Eric Eckl of Water Words that Work discussed their work on “Think Blue” education and outreach campaigns. They developed an integrated strategy to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of public outreach efforts at the statewide, regional and local scales.  Presenters Kerry Reed, Ali Clift, and Eric Eckl highlighted their implementation and evaluation strategy, the tools they created to establish the campaign as a recognizable entity across the state, and the lessons they learned throughout the process.

View Webinar Recording
Presentation slides (PDF)

Data Visualization

On Oct. 3, 2019, Tommy McCall of gave a presentation on data visualization design.

In the presentation, Tommy aimed to inspire attendees to up their game to create more informative yet accessible data visualizations. Viewers were exposed to a wide variety of chart forms to inspire them to go beyond the ubiquitous pies, bars and line charts. Tommy believes that graphics are best when they help you achieve a thinking task more quickly or can show you a book’s worth of information on a single page. He walked us through several projects to highlight key principals and challenges he faced and shared his 25 plus years of experience in the field.

Webinar recording available on request (email Courtney Botelho for access.) 
View Supplemental Materials (pdf)

Stakeholder Engagement

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series presented a webinar on Stakeholder Engagement on May 21, 2019.

This webinar featured a presentation from Dr. Karen Kline of Virginia Tech.
Dr. Kline presented “Involving stakeholders in the development of a TMDL implementation plan.” This presentation focused on the role of stakeholder involvement in creating a successful TMDL implementation plan (IP). It includes an overview of research that examines stakeholder participation during IP development. Discussions of the types of stakeholders needed, how to engage them, and their specific contributions in IP development will also be covered.

View Webinar Recording
View Presentation

Stressor ID

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series presented a webinar on Stressor ID on Nov. 20, 2018.

This webinar featured presentations by Mary Becker (CT DEEP) and Chad Larson (WDOE).

Mary Becker presented “Diatom tolerance metrics to identify total phosphorus as a candidate cause of aquatic life impairment in Connecticut freshwater streams.”
This presentation detailed the development of diatom tolerance metrics that discriminate between low and high total phosphorus concentrations at sites in Connecticut freshwater rivers and streams. The results of this study show that these metrics can be effectively used as part of a weight of evidence approach to identify phosphorus as a cause of aquatic life impairment.

Chad Larson presented “Flow pulses and fine sediments degrade stream macroinvertebrate communities in King County, Washington, USA.”
Determining the causes of biological impairment in urban stream settings presents unique challenges because there are many potential stressors associated with human development. A rigorous, scientifically based process is more likely to identify influential stressors that can be reduced to improve stream condition. We used the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) CADDIS (Causal Analysis/Decision Information System) stressor identification process to assess eight candidate causes in the urban Soos Creek Basin in Washington State. Of the stressors evaluated, flow alteration, increased fine sediments, and loss of habitat complexity were the most probable causes of biological impairment, with multiple biological metrics responding predictably across levels of impairment. Ultimately, demonstrating the utility of causal assessment in a practical situation provides greater confidence that mitigation efforts aimed at improving biological health of urban stream communities will have detectable desired effects while also providing a baseline from which the effectiveness of management practices can be evaluated.

View Webinar Recording

Story Maps

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series presented a webinar on Story Maps on Oct. 24, 2018.

This webinar featured a presentation by Dustin Shull and Carrie Tropasso of Pennsylvania DEP. In their presentation, Dustin and Carrie introduce both ESRI Story Maps and more technical Open Source Code Reports currently available for use by States and other organizations. Viewers will learn about the skills, software, and resources needed to create a story map or code based digital report in order to transition fully towards electronic reporting.

View Webinar Recording

TMDL Revisions

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series presented a webinar on TMDL Revisions on July 12, 2018.

This webinar featured two presentations:

Chris Hunter (EPA HQ) presented on EPA HQ’s perspective on TMDL revisions, as well as some past examples.

Erin Rasnake (FL DEP) presented “TMDL Revisions: Examples from Florida.”
This presentation was an overview of how Florida has begun to tackle the need for revisions of adopted TMDLs and what lead to that decision. Focus was on the process for each TMDL as well as lessons learned and potential path forward for future projects.

View Webinar Recording
View EPA HQ Presentation
View Florida DEP Presentation

TMDL Alternatives

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series held a webinar on TMDL Alternatives on May 3, 2018.

This webinar featured three presentations:

Scott Heidel (PA DEP) presented on The Alternative Restoration Plan for Kishacoquillas Creek charts a path toward restoration of aquatic life and attainment of water quality standards for an agricultural watershed in Central Pennsylvania. A reference watershed approach was applied to develop load reduction goals for nutrients and sediment. Modeling was done using the MapShed model to represent the phased restoration approach to BMP implementation taking place in the watershed and demonstrate progress toward water quality goals at each stage.

Cam Mcnutt (NC DWR) gave a presentation titled “Watershed Action Plan.  Online mapped based tools to build watershed restoration plans.”

NC DWR is developing tools and workflows to efficiently and effectively build Watershed Action Plans that are dynamic and engage a wide range of stakeholders in the restoration planning process. The Watershed Action Plan development process will focus on using resources to implement rather than plan by optimizing opportunities and using non-regulatory mechanisms to restore water quality. DWR will present the various planning tools and demonstrate how these tools integrate across Clean Water Act programs. Most importantly, DWR will demonstrate how all types of restoration projects from best management practices to stormwater control measures to instream habitat restoration can be tracked and accounted for in the Clean Water Act paradigm.

Heather Husband (ND DOH) presented on “North Dakota’s Alternative Plans.” This presentation provided a general overview of why North Dakota chose to do alternative plans and how it fits into their Universe of water quality programs.

View Webinar Recording
View North Dakota DOH Presentation
View North Carolina DWR Presentation
View Pennsylvania DEP Presentation

Chloride TMDLs

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series held a webinar on Chloride TMDLs on March 1, 2018.

This webinar featured two presentations:

  • Will Isenberg, Virginia DEQ, presented “Accotink Creek Chloride TMDLs and the Salt Management Strategy for Northern Virginia.” This presentation will detail the process for identifying chlorides as a most probable stressor of the benthic community, the evolution of TMDL development assumptions and the role stakeholders played in that, the shifting of focus to implementation, and the current status of the Salt Management Strategy for Northern Virginia that ultimately aims to implement the TMDL.
  • Stephen McCracken presented “Working with chloride TMDLs in North Eastern Illinois.” In 2004 chloride TMDLs were approved for several segments of the DuPage River and Salt Creek systems. Impacted communities responded by reviewing the scale and nature of the problem, identifying potential solutions, and working out how to accommodate large transportation developments in the crowded watersheds.

View Webinar Recording
View Virginia DEQ Presentation Slides
View DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup Presentation Slides

Examples of TMDL Tracking and Reporting

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series held a webinar on TMDL Tracking and Reporting on Sept. 28, 2017.

  • Matt Johnston, of the University of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay Program Office presented “Making Progress Count: An Overview of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Efforts to Estimate Pollution Reductions.”
  • Jason Sutter, Arizona DEQ, presented “Tracking Improvements: Arizona’s Water Quality Index.”

View Webinar Recording
View Chesapeake Bay Presentation

View AZ DEQ Presentation

Examples of TMDL Implementation

The National 303(d)/TMDL Webinar Series held a webinar on TMDL Implementation on June 8, 2017.

This webinar featured two presentations focusing on what makes a good implementation plan, implementation with larger projects, and a few case studies.

  • Nicole Sandberg and Ashley Wendt (VA DEQ) presented “TMDL Implementation Planning in Virginia.” As a state required to write implementation plans for their TMDLs, they discussed how to write a good implementation plan, what resources are required, and how to prioritize writing implementation plans.
  • Jayshika Ramrakha (EPA R10) and Bryan Duggan (ODEQ) presented on the “Coquille River Watershed TMDL Mapping Tool,” developed to display shade- and habitat-related geographic information system (GIS) data for the Coquille River Watershed. This tool is intended to be used by stakeholders to query and display layers and support the identification of high value implementation locations. Included in this presentation was a discussion of the Coquille River Watershed’s background and an overview of how this works in the watershed scale.

View Webinar Recording
View VA DEQ Presentation
View EPA R10 & ODEQ Presentation

Coordinating with Agricultural Partners across Clean Water Act Programs

The Environmental Protection Agency Nonpoint Source Program and 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program present the second webinar in this engagement webinar series, “Coordinating with Agricultural Partners across Clean Water Act Programs.” This webinar focuses on intra-agency integration and communication among the 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL and Nonpoint Source Programs when engaging with the agriculture sector.

This webinar includes these topics:

  • Overview of the National Nonpoint Source Program engagement with the agriculture community
  • Highlight of several case studies of successful interaction between the state Nonpoint Source Program and agriculture community and ways to engage the 303(d) Impaired Water Listing and TMDL Program

View Webinar Recording
View EPA HQ Presentation
View EPA Region 8 Presentation
View WI DNR Presentation
View IL EPA Presentation
View DE DNR Presentation

Building Consensus for Better Water Quality Outcomes

Drawing on his experience working with multiple stakeholders, Dr. Frank Dukes offers best practices for engaging stakeholders and communities while working on water quality issues. This webinar includes these topics, as well as a very informative Q&A Session:

  • Challenges and rewards of stakeholder engagement
  • How not to build consensus: learning from mistakes—mine and others’
  • Core values of public participation (IAP2) and why they are important
  • A structure for authentic, effective engagement

Frank Dukes worked as a mediator on his first water quality case in 1990. He has served as a consultant, process designer, mediator, and facilitator on many water quality challenges since then, including several TMDL implementation plans.

View Presentation
View Webinar Recording
View IAP2 Spectrum

Modeling Applications to Integrate TMDLs and Permitted MS4s

How can TMDLs be integrated into stormwater planning? How can MS4s numerically demonstrate progress to meeting WLAs? How can regulatory agencies objectively assess the pollution control accomplishments of MS4s? This webinar covered case studies of municipalities in Wisconsin that serve as examples of how to use a dovetailed watershed- and municipal-scale modeling approach to determine pollutant loading and then address implementation needs and considerations. The presentation was tailored to address the variability of MS4s around the country.

The presentation covered the following points:

  • Overview of the types of issues that modeling can address for urban areas with TMDLs
  • Linking TMDL watershed scale modeling to municipal scale modeling
  • How watershed model results can be used to develop detailed implementation plans for several urban communities (using the SLAMM model)
  • Data needs to evaluate permit compliance and inform stormwater management practices

View Presentation
View Webinar Recording

The session was co-presented by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Brown and Caldwell, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Our presenters each have over 20 years of experience working nationally on watershed and municipal water issues.