In locally defined work areas, the participating Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) are first assisted by the university staff in identifying a target audience of lakeshore owners. Questionnaires are then designed and administered to attain a better understanding the social characteristics of the target audience - their knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP). The SWCDs are then guided in designing buffer incentive programs tailored to their target audience.
After the outreach activities are carried out (including buffer plantings), a second round of questionnaires determines the effectiveness of the messaging by measuring the change in knowledge, attitudes and practices. The result is a custom designed incentive program that meets the specific needs and characteristics of the local lakeshore owners. Project success is not only measurable in terms of the number of shoreland buffers installed, but also in the social changes in the target audience. The process is adaptable to any particular area of the state or target audience and is scalable.