ORVALLIS - Oregon's watershed councils can find out about training opportunities, publications and other information designed to help them do their jobs through a new web site at Oregon State University.

The site is the on-line home of OSU's Watershed Stewardship Education Program (WSEP), a joint project of OSU Extension Forestry and Agriculture and Oregon Sea Grant, in partnership with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute.

The site can be found on the Web.

WSEP provides training and materials to help Oregon's watershed groups understand how watersheds work and apply that knowledge to watershed assessments, project development and water quality and habitat monitoring. The program is recognized by OWEB as the state's primary training resource for implementing the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds.

"We hope the web site will help spread the word about this new educational resource and draw in new audiences and supporters," said Tara Nierenberg, the program's statewide coordinator.

WSEP works with local groups to provide basic training in watershed processes, stream ecology, fish habitat, upland erosion, riparian areas, wetlands, working together and water quality monitoring. Training is based in part on "Watershed Stewardship: A Learning Guide," a comprehensive curriculum developed last year by WSEP team and available for purchase from OSU's Extension & Experiment Station Communications.

The web site includes information about training programs, publications and other resources for local watershed groups, including Extension contacts for watershed advice and information.

In the near future, plans are to include a master calendar of training sessions being offered around the state. Eventually, the site is expected to include examples of successful projects undertaken by local watershed councils that can serve as models for other groups.

The web site is hosted by Oregon Sea Grant, which helped launch WSEP through a grant from the National Sea Grant Strategic Investments program, which supports innovative ocean and coastal research projects that address issues of national importance.

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Tara Nierenberg, 541-737-8715