Social Marketing Strategies and Tools for Watershed Projects Featured in EPA Webcast

On May 1st, EPA’s Watershed Academy sponsored a webcast entitled, “Using Social Indicators in Watershed Management Projects.”  Social indicators provide information about the social context, awareness, attitudes, capacities, constraints, and behaviors of people in a project area.  During the webinar, speakers from Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison highlighted strategies and tools to understand the basic concepts of behavior change by targeting audiences, selecting effective interventions, and evaluating their impacts on engaging the public in non-point source watershed projects.

The presenters shared information and lessons learned from a series of pilot projects in EPA Region 5 (the Great Lakes area) to develop a system for collecting and using social data to evaluate water quality management efforts that complement existing administrative and environmental indicators and goals.  The conveners of the pilots used the seven steps of the Social Indicators for Planning & Evaluation System (SIPES) model for carrying out the project and gauging their success (see presentation slides on EPA web site and resources on the Great Lakes pilots web site).  They also used the Social Indicators Data Management and Analysis (SIDMA) Tool to develop, administer, and interpret data derived from audience surveys in the project areas to devise outreach strategies.  The SIDMA tool is free and can be used by anyone who wishes to create an account at

For more information about the Great Lakes pilots and to obtain a variety of social indicator resources, including those mentioned in this article, go to:

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, the Purdue University will conduct additional FREE webinars in June and July on using social indicators.  For more information and to register, please contact Nick Babin of Purdue at  For more information about this webcast and to view the presentation slides, visit the EPA web site.