To assist and speed up river pollution cleanup, River Restoration Center in Chang Jung Christian University has conducted a series of public participation projects since 2002 under the sponsor of Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration (TEPA). The series of projects have successfully establish a public participation framework to involve people in river watch, segment adoption, environmental education, volunteer monitoring, and watershed planning.
This year, to further assist the seven counties in southern Taiwan to manage their river watch programs, the River Restoration Center established public participation website and held two regional meetings to promote the sharing of management experience among the county Environmental Protection Bureaus (EPBs) and to introduce the public outreach tools developed in the past few years. To further promote public participation in the Great Tainan Area, we held two ‘Water Environment Navigator’ training workshops for both Erhjin River and Yenshui River. Forty-six participants were certified as the qualified ‘Water Environment Navigator’. Twelve monthly newsletters, Callings from The River, were published. The Water Environment Patch Project was continued to implement in 16 schools, including elementary school, junior-high, and university, in the Great Tainan Area. The participants included 29 teachers and 523students (161 River Rookies, 114 certified River Guardian Elfs, 107 certified River Guardian Angels, and 141 certified River Guardian Aces). To involve the delegates of the River Watch groups into the watershed planning, we have also held eight regular Counseling and Oversee meetings to discuss the watershed environmental issues, four each for Erhjin River and Yenshui River. The opinions toward the Erhjin and Yenshui river cleanup were further motioned and discussed in the River Program Implementation Committee meetings for both rivers.
For the whole three-year project from 2008-2010, we have published 36 monthly newsletters, certified 95 seeding teachers, 499 River Guardian Elfs, 341 River Guardian Angels, as well as 372 River Guardian Aces, and held 13 regular Counseling and Oversee meetings for Erhjin River, 7 regular Counseling and Oversee meetings for Yenshui River. We also developed emergency response protocol for fish-die event, completed green maps for the Priority Rivers in the southern Taiwan, editing Erhjin River Environmental Guidebook as the public outreach tools. A website of public participation in watershed environmental management was established and maintained. Through these efforts over three years, the River Restoration Center has become a regional platform to promote public participation in the southern Taiwan.