One of the missions of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Stream Habitat Program is to promote aquatic conservation through advocacy. Advocacy is defined as the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal; or the act or process of advocating something. Localized ‘Stream Teams’ are often comprised of citizens with first-hand knowledge of problems, needs, and solutions; and are better equipped to weigh both sides of a stream issue and speak out on behalf of Arkansas rivers and streams. The Stream Habitat program encourages volunteers how to work for conservation of Arkansas’ aquatic resources. This tool kit is designed to be a basic repository of aquatic conservation advocacy information and an introduction for concerned citizens. This tool kit will provide basic information on identifying your audience, developing your advocacy message, different types of communication, and communication templates.
Aquatic conservation advocacy can take many different forms from having a conversation at the local coffee shop, posting information on social media, or to testifying before legislature. All are important forms of communication and should be grounded in the basic principle that the communicator is well informed on the topic. While this guide is not intended to be the information source for every potential aquatic conservation topic, it will hopefully provide you basic information in formulating your communication strategy.