Natural Systems

What’s Being Done – Plan Implementation

Environmental Consultations with State and Local Officials

As part of developing the Regional Transportation Plan, OKI consults with state and local officials involved with environmental protection and mitigation about how best to avoid or mitigate the potential environmental impacts of transportation planning.  This process has resulted in the identification of new opportunities for information sharing and coordination.

Enabling Environmentally Sensitive Building Practices Through Local Codes 

Through consultation with local code officials as part of the OKI Go Solar Ready initiative, GO Solar Ready resources provide samples and models to improve permitting processes and encourage proactive solar ready construction.

Identifying Analytical Tools to Assist in Estimating Run-off 

Investigate tools available for estimating run-off on areas with varying types of land cover, test these tools with existing impervious surface analysis, and evaluate their feasibility for use or adaptation by local government when evaluating potential development.

Taking Root 

Beginning in 2012, OKI has worked with a consortium of other regional organizations (Green Umbrella, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden,) to help develop the Taking Root campaign, a collaborative, broad-based campaign to address the current loss of our region’s tree canopy by planting trees, better managing our local forests, promoting the many benefits of healthy trees, and fostering a sense of stewardship among individuals and communities.

In 2016, Taking Root became an independent non-profit organization.  OKI staff remains supportive to this organization and participates as an active member of their newly established Board.  Taking Root continues working toward the primary goal of planting 2 million trees by 2020.


OKI’s Water Quality Management Planning

As the region’s areawide water quality planning agency, OKI periodically brings watershed issues to the attention of our board of predominantly local elected officials, especially when updates of the plan are undertaken.

OKI’s Stream Database

OKI has developed an extensive database of information about water quality issues, problems, characterizations and stewardship groups and activities which is provided on the OKI website and promoted through local watershed groups. This database has been updated every few years for the Ohio portion of the region with pass-through funding from Ohio EPA, but funding to maintain updated data for the remainder of the region needs to be identified.

Watershed Planning Assistance

OKI provides technical assistance to local governments seeking grant funding for watershed restoration and protection projects and to watershed groups developing action plans, including the Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities; the Whitewater River Watershed planning group; Friends of the Great Miami; the Little Miami River Partnership; the Hogan Creek and Tanners Creek watershed planning groups and the Banklick Creek watershed planning project.  OKI was involved in helping a bi-state Whitewater River planning group to create a watershed action plan, which wascompleted in March 2016.

OKI’s Groundwater Committee 

OKI works with water suppliers who rely on aquifers in southwest Ohio and southeast Indiana through this Committee to promote coordinated groundwater management across local boundaries. The Committee identifies water quality and quantity issues of regional concern, and meets quarterly to exchange information, host technical and educational presentations, and identify areas where intergovernmental coordination is needed.

Source Water Protection Assistance 

OKI has provided technical assistance to water suppliers in several jurisdictions to formulate source water protection plans, including Dearborn County, Butler County, Clermont County and the Village of New Miami, Ohio, and will continue to do so as funding permits.  OKI has also worked with St. Clair Township in Butler County and the Miami Conservancy District to develop a comprehensive plan for the township that incorporates source water protection as an essential element.

OKI Regional Conservation Council 

The OKI Regional Conservation Council is comprised of the soil and water conservation districts from all the counties of region, and is a collegial information-sharing body for the promotion and implementation of best practices, especially for managing stormwater run-off and the pollutants it carries. The RCC convenes during events twice each year.

OKI Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan 

OKI published the Elements of an Effective Local Comprehensive Plan in January 2016.  OKI staff has presented this Guide at local conference and workshop sessions, including the region’s annual David J Allor Planning and Zoning Workshop and often features topical elements at OKI Regional Planning Forum events.  To date, 130 copies have been distributed to local communities and private sector consultants.  For a copy of the Guide or to request a workshop please contact Andy Meyer, Senior Planner

Based on the 2014 SRPP update, new topic areas included in the 2016 publication include Public Health, Energy, and Community Character.

Guidance and Technical Assistance

Tools, research and resources related to the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Planning are available as a service to local government in the region. OKI staff is available to provide technical assistance for specific local planning needs and projects as resources permit. In addition, OKI has developed planning guidance documents and model ordinances on special topics related to the How Do We Grow From Here? Plan. OKI staff will update the documents as needed. For additional information and links to the guidance documents, please visit

OKI Regional Planning Forum

OKI holds information meetings each year for professional planners across the region, called Regional Planning Forum. The forum features a variety of topics that help inform planners about the issues and policy recommendations in the How Do We Grow from Here? Plan. The purpose of the Forum is to create a regional outlet for sharing information, experience and expertise among planners and those in related disciplines so that we can provide the best possible quality of life for those who live and work in our region. For more information, please visit