Letter from former DCA President Terry Stewart to the Hellbranch Watershed Forum

regarding financial support for watershed study

Darby Creek Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 85
Plain City, OH 43064

May 15, 2003

Katie Martin-Renner
Hellbranch Watershed Forum

Dear Mrs. Martin-Renner;

The Darby Creek Association has been following the development of the Hellbranch Forum with great interest. For the past several years, a major goal of DCA has been to encourage multi-jurisdictional planning for the Darby watershed. At times, this has seemed like a hopeless goal. But with the formation of groups such as the Forum, we see at least the promise that coordinated, cooperative planning may evolve. We would like to express our appreciation for the creation of the Forum, and pledge support for your endeavors.

We are particularly pleased that the Hellbranch Forum has identified water quality modeling as a necessary precursor to effective planning. The proposed study by the Army Corps of Engineers, if completed, could provide crucial baseline information needed to allow local jurisdictions to make environmentally sound choices when mapping their future growth. In particular, because the study aims examine water quality and development at the watershed level, we are hopeful that members of the Hellbranch Forum will see that their development choices should be coordinated with neighboring jurisdictions.

In the past, DCA has offered financial support for the study of the water quality impacts of development on Darby. In 2001 we underwrote a project by Dr. Steven Gordon, OSU, which examined the impacts of several development scenarios on Darby biology in various places in the watershed, including in the Hellbranch subwatershed. Given the resources the Army Corps can bring to the table, their proposed study has the potential to dramatically improve on such modeling efforts. For this reason, DCA would like to contribute $1,000 toward the projectís cost.

As a non-profit conservation group, one of DCAís most important goals is to educate and raise awareness about water quality issues in Darby. We believe that the Hellbranch Forum, and the Army Corps study in particular, have the potential to raise awareness of the impacts of development decisions, not just in the Hellbranch, but throughout the entire Darby watershed. Thus we are strongly supportive of your efforts, and do all we can to help these efforts succeed.


Terry L Stewart
President, Darby Creek Association