Report Card for the Great Miami River Watershed

Great Miami River Watershed Report Card
MCD is beginning the process of working with partners to develop a comprehensive report card for the Great Miami River Watershed starting in 2024. 

While a tremendous amount of water data is collected by MCD and other leading environmental and planning organizations in the region, a report card does not yet exist for this watershed. This is an opportunity for collaboration and creating positive change for our region. 

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What is a watershed report card? 
Watershed report cards are assessment and communication tools that compare ecological, social, and/or economic information against predefined goals or objectives. Similar to a school report card, these watershed report cards provide a performance-based scoring mechanism to reflect the status of a watershed.  

Report cards are useful in many ways. The process of developing one facilitates interaction among everyday people, government agencies, and industries with different perspectives, values, and levels of awareness. These report cards (and the work necessary to create one) can lead to a shared vision of what the future might look like for a particular region. 

Because these report cards are data-driven, locally focused, and produce transparency, they can lead to shared understanding and awareness of important issues affecting the region, and act as catalysts for change. The process of developing a report card can even lead to new and important insights-- by integrating and visualizing data in new ways, data patterns can emerge that may have not been previously apparent. 

Anatomy of a report card
A watershed report card will typically contain these elements:

  • Maps with regional descriptions
  • Key values and threats
  • Indicators and thresholds for evaluation
  • Grades and results
  • Findings and recommendations
  • Encouraging involvement



The popularity of developing these report cards is on the rise, and can take various forms and styles such as print, web application, or digital flipbook. Here are a couple of examples from across the US:



 Costanzo, S.D., Blancard, C., Davidson, S., Dennison, W.C., Escurra, J., Freeman, S., Fries, A., Kelsey, R.H., Krchnak, K.,
Sherman, J., Thieme, M. Vargas-Nguyen, V. 2017. Practitioner's Guide to Developing River Basin Report Cards. IAN Press. Cambridge