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Bridging the Gap: Altering Communal Social Norms by Promoting Personal Responsibility of Lake Keowee Watershed Systems

By: Sarah Carter smcarte@clemson.edu MAPC Project Committee Submitted May 14, 2017

Abstract This proposed MAPC project will involve working closely with a client, the Director of Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence Katie Callahan, to further explore how community-based social marketing strategies can be used to promote a personal responsibility of Lake Keowee watershed systems in the state of South Carolina. Through developing a five-part ecotourism package composed of two educational videos, a hard copy and online interactive version of a trail map, and an online, prototype survey, it is our hope that this project will help bridge this socio-economic gap and unify a message that will reach and further motivate Lake Keowee residents to protect and preserve the critical watershed systems that surround and affect their local community.


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Introduction My proposed MAPC project will involve working closely with both my client, the Director of Clemson University’s Center for Watershed Excellence Katie Callahan, and Clemson University’s on campus water resources agent Charly McConnell on developing a Lake Keowee ecotourism package that will not only expose the unique treasures of 10 different local watersheds, but will also promote a personal responsibility to protect and preserve these watersheds amongst the residents who live by these critical land areas. According to the Center for Watershed Excellence’s website, the Center has partnered with both EPA Region 4 and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control to “bring science-based tools to communities and stakeholders working [toward] greater and improved watershed management” (“The Center”) in the state of South Carolina. Through developing a five-part ecotourism package composed of two educational videos, a hard copy and online interactive version of a trail map, and an online, prototype survey, it is our hope that this project will help bridge this socio-economic gap and unify a message that will reach and further motivate my target audience, Lake Keowee residents, to protect and preserve the watershed systems that surround and directly affect their local community.

Problem Statement Watersheds are incredibly important regions or areas of land since they not only drain into more prominent bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, or streams, but they also directly influence the quality of drinking water for local communities depending on the cleanliness and general condition of the watersheds themselves. According to the EPA’s Health Watersheds Protection Program website, “every inch of the United States is part of a watershed – in other words, all land drains into a lake, river, stream or other water body and directly


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affects its quality” (“What is a watershed?”). As a result, the overall quality of life for citizens residing near watersheds is also directly impacted by both the ecosystems surrounding these regions and the daily actions or nonactions of residents taken toward protecting and preserving their local watershed systems. Within the 50 square miles surrounding South Carolina’s Lake Keowee that house 10 different local watersheds, there resides a myriad of opportunities for improving and further protecting the communities and overall environment directly affected by the quality of these watershed systems. For example, the Friends of Lake Keowee Society (FOLKS) is in the process of developing a grant that would propose a comprehensive watershed plan for all of Lake Keowee. More particularly, this plan would not only explain how phosphorous and other water pollutants can be controlled, but would also define what a priority watershed is and what its primary functions are in relation to surrounding subwatershed systems. Therefore, the preliminary research I will conduct while completing this client project, ranging from shooting educational videos on watershed management to conducting field work on 10 different local watersheds, will prove instrumental in moving this particular grant forward toward completion. Currently, there appears to be an overwhelming population dynamic among the Lake Keowee communities where the different types of residents, ranging from affluent to blue-collar, lack an understanding of where their local watershed systems are located or how they even operate on an ecological level. Local watersheds in the Lake Keowee area have even been experiencing wastewater failure issues since the wastewater lines are old and are in need of major funding sources to be replaced; fines could be issued if this wastewater failure is not controlled and taken care of. As mentioned previously, the cleanliness and overall well-being of local watershed systems have proven critical for the overall health and well-being of local residents; in


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light of all this, it is exigent that these local residents, regardless of their social status or class, are equally educated on these important environmental issues and motivated to create a sense of a “new” social norm in order to adopt new behaviors or change existing ones that place a greater value on protecting water and watersheds. In order to achieve the overall mission of my client project, which is to effectively communicate a unified message to all Lake Keowee residents that motivates them to personally protect and preserve their local watersheds, I must learn more about the development of socio-psychological norms and how residents can play a critical role in shaping a given community’s sustainable social norms and behaviors.

Literature Review For my client project, I will be focusing on how the development of sociological norms within a given community can either encourage or discourage residents to engage in and place a higher value on more sustainable behaviors, such as protecting and promoting local watershed systems. Within the context of my project, this particular sociological framework, known as community-based social marketing, revolves around the idea that a resident is more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors or to encourage the development of “new” sustainable behaviors if his or her neighbors are also engaging in said sustainable behaviors. In other words, a resident is more likely to engage in sustainable behaviors if a neighbor encourages them to do so compared to if a complete stranger asked them to do so. Interestingly, this sociological framework also focuses on sustainable behaviors as cause-effect correlations. For example, the decision of one resident to engage or not engage in sustainable behaviors while maintaining his or her yard will either positively or negatively affect his or her neighbor’s yard and possibly his or her water supply. Community-based social marketing motivates others to be mindful of their actions and


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how their actions, whether sustainable or not, directly affect others and their surrounding environment for better or for worse. In McKenzie-Mohr and Smith’s (1999) book “Fostering sustainable behavior: An introduction to community-based social marketing,� community-based social marketing focuses on studying and explaining human behaviors, particularly in light of interactions amongst members of a particular, targeted community. This socio-psychological framework is typically divided into four distinct stages, such as identifying both the barriers to and the benefits of engaging in specific, targeted behaviors; determining the appropriate tool(s) for emphasizing or changing said targeted behaviors; conducting a piloted plan on said targeted behaviors on a manageable segment of a community, and evaluating the piloted plan before carrying out the actual study on a larger, much more generalizable sample of the community in question (McKenzie-Mohr & Smith, 1999, p. 15-17). During the first stage of research, barriers to engaging in different targeted behaviors or the benefits of engaging in different targeted behaviors is addressed. For my client project, I will focus on researching the potential barriers that Lake Keowee citizens could be experiencing in regard to engaging in more sustainable practices toward watershed management while also identifying the potential benefits that Lake Keowee residents could experience once engaging in sustainable watershed management practices. According to the authors, there are several reasons why target audiences may or may not be actively engaging in sustainable practices, such as a target community genuinely not being aware of the sustainable practice, the target community not understanding the perceived benefits of engaging in said practice, or the target community believing that engaging in said practice is not worth his or her time since an immediate reward may or may not be made available once completing said action (p. 2-3). In order to effectively research these potential barriers to and


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benefits of engaging in sustainable watershed management practices within my target community, I will produce an ecotourism package composed of the following five deliverables: two educational videos, a hard copy and online interactive version of a trail map, and an online, prototype survey.

Solution Since Lake Keowee residents who reside near these critical watershed systems are typically not aware of the myriad of roles watersheds play within the environment or where watersheds are located in their particular community, it is imperative that I design deliverables for my client project that effectively approach these issues on both an educational and sociological level. To effect change within a target community, it is fundamental to understand how that particular community operates sociologically and how norms and behaviors are developed within said community. Once residents of a community realize their actions, whether sustainable or not, directly impact the overall well-being and quality of life of their neighbors and surrounding environment, then real steps toward establishing “new” norms and “new” behaviors can be taken. In other words, once residents of Lake Keowee who reside near critical watershed systems realize that the sustainable actions they take in their own yards, whether big or small, can either positively or negatively impact the lives of fellow residents, then further actions can be taken toward cultivating a more purposeful, sustainable community that is actively aware of how their day-to-day decisions affect not only themselves and their neighbors, but their surrounding environment and watershed systems as well.

Deliverables My client project will involve the creation of a five-part ecotourism package made up of two educational videos, a hard copy and online interactive version of a trail map, and an online,


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prototype survey. The first video will be more of an educational one that focuses on the importance of watershed management and the impact that watershed management has on local communities, such as the communities that reside near the Lake Keowee watershed systems. I will more than likely interview a few experts in the field for this first video while incorporating segments of secondary or B-roll footage as the individuals speak throughout the piece. This video will be no longer than two to three minutes, will include a detailed shot sheet, and will serve as a more educational piece that The Center for Watershed Excellence could use for marketing or training purposes. The second video will be more of a fun, persuasive piece where I will use a GoPro provided by my client to document a first-person perspective on the treasurers of each watershed I’ve been asked to explore. Similar to the first video, this video will be no longer than two to three minutes and will include a detailed shot sheet as well. Since the MATRF is closed during the summer, I will need to gain access to a quality camera and camcorder from a different source since I would like to conduct as much research during the summer as possible. I may be able to use my iPhone 6 for the majority of the photography/videography if I cannot easily obtain a quality camera and camcorder for the purposes of my project. The second piece of my client project will include creating a trail map (hard copy and interactive online version) that outlines not only the 10 different watersheds that I’ve been asked to visit, but also outlines the different treasures specific to each individual watershed. The 10 different watersheds, Cane Creek Watershed, Little River Watershed, Oconee, Middle Little, Flat Shoals River, Upper Little River, Keowee River, Cane Creek Watershed, Eastatoe Watershed, and Crow Creek, cover approximately a 50 square mile radius around Lake Keowee. Because I have been tasked with visiting each of these different watersheds and discovering the treasures unique to each, I will more than likely be reimbursed by my client for any materials or gas need-


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ed to reach each location. My client, along with the on campus water resources agent, have offered to accompany me to these locations and to also connect me with local experts who would be willing to help me with my research. I will more than likely use Adobe InDesign CC to create the hard copy version of the trail map and Adobe Spark to create the online interactive version of the trail map. Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC will also be used to create and format the different graphics and images I will use in both the paper and electronic versions of the map. The hard copy version of the map will more than likely include original images from the watershed locations, while the interactive version of the map will more than likely include original images and footage from each watershed location. The last piece of my client project will include creating a prototype of an online survey that could potentially be sent out by my client after my project has completed. The survey will be brief, oriented for easy online accessibility, and will be used to assess the behaviors, values, and beliefs of Lake Keowee residents who may not be currently aware of the different watersheds in their area or the ecological impact of these watersheds on their own communities. Potential questions could include, but are not limited to, the following:   

How important is clean water/rivers to you? Do you believe that clean water is important to the economy? Are you aware of the different watersheds in the area?

Once my survey has been completed to the satisfaction of my committee, my client will form a few focus groups that will review my survey for any issues with readability and usability. I will use the feedback from these focus groups to improve my survey and to create the final version of the deliverable to the satisfaction of both my committee and my client.

Tentative Timeline of Completion


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A tentative timeline of completion for my client project is included in the table below.

Task(s)

Details

Resources Needed

(Tentative) Deadline

Introductory meeting Discuss exigency of with client/on campus project, deliverables, water resources agent and tentative timeline

Internet/laptop access; Microsoft Office suite access

May 9, 2017

Send project proposal to Chair for review

Internet/laptop access; Microsoft Office suite access Internet/laptop access; Microsoft Office suite access Vehicle access; bring hiking materials/field notebook Vehicle access; Internet/laptop access; Adobe CC suite access

May 14, 2017

Internet/laptop access; Adobe CC suite access Internet access; laptop access

Dec. 5, 2017

Internet/laptop access; Adobe CC suite access Internet/laptop access

Feb. 10-March 1, 2018

Internet/laptop access; Microsoft Office and Adobe CC suite access

March 21, 2018

Internet/laptop access

April 4, 2018

Send as a Microsoft Word document via email Send project proposal Send as a Microsoft to full committee for Word document via review email Visit Issaqueena Falls Meet on campus at 9 with client/on campus am to carpool water resources agent Conduct fieldwork Visit the 10 different for trail map/Video 2; watershed locations; begin deliverable de- finalize software and sign equipment to create deliverables Conclude fieldwork Visit the 10 different for trail map/Video 2 watershed locations Begin fieldwork for Visit 10 different Video 1/survey; begin watershed locations; portfolio content finalize software for portfolio Finalize Video 1/ Prepare to visit Chair survey; continue and client for detailed portfolio content feedback Finalize deliverables Visit Chair and client and portfolio website for detailed feedback Send deliverables, Send deliverables via portfolio & reflection email, portfolio as to full committee for URL, and reflection review; receive client as Microsoft Word letter for portfolio document MAPC Portfolio Finalize and review Defense defense details with full committee

References

May 15-19, 2017 May 26, 2017 May 25-Dec. 5, 2017

Dec 5, 2017-Feb. 10, 2018

March 1-20, 2018


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McGinnis, M. (1999). Making the watershed connection. Policy Studies Journal, 27(3), 497-501. McKenzie-Mohr, D., & Smith, W. (1999). Fostering sustainable behavior: An introduction to community-based social marketing. Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society Publishers. Ross, C., & Thomas, A. (2003). Writing for real: A handbook for writers in community service. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc. (2017, Jan. 28). The center for watershed excellence. Retrieved from http://www.clemson.edu/public/water/watershed/. (2017, May 1). Why do watersheds need to be protected? Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/hwp/basic-information-and-answers-frequent-questions. (2017, May 1). What is a watershed? Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/hwp/basicinformation-and-answers-frequent-questions.

Final Client Project Proposal  
Final Client Project Proposal  
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