The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1827 with a mission to connect people with horticulture and create beautiful, healthy, and sustainable communities. As a part of that mission, and funded by EPA Urban Waters Small … Continued
In 2013, UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IoES) partnered with LA Waterkeeper (LAW) on an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to develop a teaching curriculum for high school students at Jefferson High School in south Los Angeles in order … Continued
In 2013, LA Waterkeeper (LAW) partnered with UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IoES) on an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant to develop a teaching curriculum for high school students at Jefferson High School in south Los Angeles to conduct … Continued
To further combat the impacts of CSOs, stormwater runoff, and pollution in urban watersheds, local organizations and businesses formed the RI Green Infrastructure Coalition (GIC) in 2014. The Coalition is made up of nearly 40 local businesses, non-profits, and government offices in the Providence-Metro and Newport-Aquidneck Island areas. They are forming partnerships and using green infrastructure to decrease stormwater flooding, address climate change impacts, enhance water quality, and promote equity in urban watersheds.
Environmental Community Action, Inc (ECO-Action) – a grassroots organization that works with individuals and communities to fight for their rights to clean air, land, and water – provides resources and creates partnerships to support the communities they serve. They have … Continued
The Merrimack River Watershed Council (MRWC), a non-profit organization formed in 1976, works to restore and protect the Merrimack River Watershed through education, recreation, advocacy, and science. In 2012, the MRWC partnered with the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments to … Continued
Environmental Community Action, Inc (ECO-Action) – a grassroots organization that works with people to fight for their rights to clean air, land, and water – acts as a support system to the communities they serve by providing resources and creating partnerships with other organizations. They have developed many programs designed for educating and empowering the Proctor and Intrenchment Creek watershed communities to advocate for equity and environmental protections. Among their initiatives, ECO-Action is heavily involved in community education and advocacy towards the implementation of green infrastructure projects that address stormwater flooding issues and provide more livable neighborhoods for underserved communities.
Northern Middlesex Council of Governments (NMCOG), a Regional Planning Agency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was formed in 1963 and supports communities of the Greater Lowell region with matters of transportation, economic development and housing, regional planning, and energy and … Continued
This project seeks to advance future green infrastructure (GI) projects through a growing partnership of municipal regulators, GI professionals, and scientists by quantifying urban runoff at commercial facilities near underserved schools. Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF) will collect water samples … Continued
To address urban runoff pollution in the Spokane River watershed, The Lands Council’s (TLC) partnered with the Geiger Corrections Center to implement a job training and workforce development program around stormwater pollution and Low Impact Development (LID). The project reached … Continued
In 2013, the Proctor Creek Watershed was designated by the EPA as an Urban Waters Federal Partnership location, with goals to engage the community while improving water quality, providing green spaces, and supporting green infrastructure. The Conservation Fund was awarded an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant in 2016 to work with residents and multiple organizations of the Proctor Creek Watershed to create green infrastructure solutions that benefit the community and the environment.
Since 1988, Amigos Bravos has been working to protect and restore waters in New Mexico. Engaging and educating the community is integral to their mission, which is guided by social justice principles and dedicated to the environmental health of communities. Two … Continued
To further understand the severity and sources of bacterial pollution in the four urban subwatersheds in the Hudson River Estuary, Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB), supported by an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant, created the Lower Hudson Urban Waters Collaborative. Partnering with Riverkeeper, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, and the Bronx River Alliance, the Urban Waters Collaborative created a strong partnership in the Lower Hudson Valley in which the organizations share experiences and combine data resources with the goal of strengthening stewardship and community science capacity.
Los Angeles River Watershed: Climate, Pollution, and Policies The Los Angeles (LA) River watershed covers an area of 854 square miles, originating in the Santa Monica, Santa Susana, and San Gabriel Mountains. The headwaters of the river are mainly open … Continued
RiverXchange—a school-based program that supports and supplements Common Core and 21st Century Standards—is designed to introduce water resources concepts to young people using a variety of fun methods that integrate writing, math, science, and physical activity. By interacting with models, reading relevant texts, learning from experts, and going on field trips, students learn about watersheds, river ecosystems, and the importance of water conservation. They also learn how to monitor water quality and calculate their own ecological footprints, then internalize these concepts by writing about them in their own words.
Advocating for change starts first with quantifying and documenting the extent of plastics pollution. The NY/NJ Baykeeper study illuminates the high prevalence of plastics pollution within the Harbor Estuary and highlights the importance of both decreasing plastics consumption and increasing disposal awareness.
In 2012, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) received an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant, sub-granted by the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment, to study the causes of the eutrophic conditions in Lakes Hefner and Overholser and to evaluate which Best Management Practices (BMPs) could significantly reduce the nutrient load affecting water quality in the lakes. Originally, the study focused on identifying BMPs that could be implemented in the lakes themselves. However, it was found that most of the pollution was coming from urban runoff entering the North Canadian River.
In urban settings, stormwater runoff is one of the leading water quality concerns due to limited surface area where water can infiltrate into the soil. Impervious surfaces result in water flowing quickly across pavement and down gutters and sewers rather than dispersing out evenly over the landscape. The farther and faster the water travels, the more contaminants and sediment it picks up along the way.
This report, issued in 2011 by the American Society of CIvil Engineers (ASCE), provides an overview of existing water, sewer, and CSO infrastructure in the U.S., describes the “water and wastewater infrastructure gap”, addresses the differences in the condition and … Continued
This report makes an argument for funding the “water infrastructure gap,” showing that doing so would benefit the U.S. economy by netting $220 billion annually and supporting 1.3 million jobs. The Value of Water Campaign documents the number of jobs … Continued
LUMMI NATION YOUTH: WATER QUALITY, WATERSHEDS AND SALMON The Lummi Nation Youth: Water Quality, Watersheds and Salmon project is a project that seeks to engage fifth grade students at the Lummi Nation School in active stewardship of the environment, focusing … Continued
Funded by an EPA Urban Waters Small Grant, the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) joined with UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability (IoES), and the LA Waterkeeper (LAW) to form a unique partnership between scientists, public policy professionals, and educators. Together, they created the Urban Waters Civic Action … Continued
As urban sprawl continues to impact water quality throughout our communities, protecting urban waters before they become impaired is of great importance to all municipalities, stakeholders, and individuals. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate methods to protect urban … Continued
Space to Grow transforms Chicago schoolyards into beautiful and functional spaces to play, learn, garden, and be outside. Schoolyard transformations prioritize physical activity, outdoor learning, and community engagement. The green schoolyards incorporate landscape features, such as rain gardens, native plantings, … Continued
The overall goal of this project is to engage with local businesses and learning institutions to provide green infrastructure education and training to citizens in the Omaha metro area, especially in underserved parts of the City. This project will lead … Continued
High quality water resources are fundamentally important to local communities. Saint Louis University has partnered with public works departments in six St. Louis municipalities (Ballwin, Ferguson, Jennings, Manchester, Rock Hill, and Webster Groves), Stream Team water quality monitors, and the … Continued
By investigating water quality with community scientists we will have a better understanding of the severity and sources of pollution and a basis for future remediation in four of our most highly-urbanized watersheds. We will create an educated grassroots network … Continued
The project will identify, reduce, and prevent plastic from reaching the lower Passaic River watershed and Newark Bay complex. This goal will be achieved through surface water sample collection for microplastics, followed by public outreach and education. Student interns from … Continued
The Saturday Environmental Academy is a free, weekend-based, out-of-school-time environmental education program for 7th and 8th grade students from low-income, urban communities. The goal of SEA is to stimulate interest in and provide a fundamental education about the environment, and … Continued
The Conservation Fund is working collaboratively with a large number of community organizations to improve environmental outcomes in Atlanta’s Proctor Creek communities. Since 2011, the Fund has been identifying opportunities for creating green space that manages stormwater flooding, reduces pollution, … Continued
Through a community driven effort, this project will aim to collect new nutrient data across the watershed that will aid the city of Knoxville and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in developing a watershed restoration strategy. By engaging local … Continued
The Darby Creek in the Delaware River Basin is an impaired urban water body with stormwater runoff pollution. This work will create a living laboratory space used for community education, stormwater performance research, and product development by companies creating green … Continued
This project combines academic research with community-based training and solutions to address real-life water quality and public health challenges. Ten students from ASU-West campus, 21 K-12 students from the Phoenix Zoo Teen Conservation Team and local Girl Scouts troops will … Continued
Recreation in streams and rivers is a popular activity in the Los Angeles region. Yet, there is a lack of data on the water quality of these freshwater recreational areas creating possible public health risks. Heal the Bay proposes to … Continued
This guide is a kind of “Green Infrastructure 101”. It summarizes the benefits of green infrastructure (GI), including economic, educational, and health benefits. It explains how GI can be less expensive and less difficult to maintain than gray infrastructure — … Continued
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) is dedicated to restoring and protecting the most urbanized watershed in Massachusetts. It partners with federal, state, and local agencies, using science—including citizen science—to influence public policy. Its signature programs include a 15-year old … Continued
The Wabash River, which is Indiana’s state river, has a rich economic and cultural history. As a tributary of the Ohio River, it is part of the upper reaches of the 1,245,000-square-mile Mississippi River Basin, and so was a vital navigation and trade route for French traders traveling between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.
Created in 1937, the San Antonio River Authority (SARA) is charged with protecting and enhancing San Antonio’s creeks and rivers through service, leadership, and expertise. SARA is a leader in promoting sustainable water quality improvement techniques such as Low Impact … Continued
This resource, developed by the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, summarizes key funding, financing and implementation frameworks for green stormwater infrastructure. This summary was created by participants of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange “Deep Dive” held on green stormwater infrastructure funding … Continued
At scales ranging from the neighborhood and city to the watershed and basin, some communities are doing the work of breaking down the silos in water management to increase sustainability and equitably maximize benefits across the community and watershed. So, … Continued
The UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation presents Creating a Complete Los Angeles River Greenway: Stories and Guidance (Guide) to recognize the achievements of those who have successfully developed portions of the Los Angeles River (LA River) greenway while providing advice … Continued
As different parts of the country become drier, wetter or hotter, community leaders and citizens are looking to green infrastructure to improve their community’s resiliency to the effects of climate change. In 2015, EPA convened charrettes, or intensive planning sessions, in … Continued
In this recorded webinar, learn how communities in Cincinnati and New Jersey – driven by combined sewer overflow problems – are seeking ways to integrate water management with other sectors like transportation, health and energy to create multiple community benefits. … Continued
This guide outlines a simple and logical methodology to promote street-based stormwater management that can address the complementary municipal goals of improving water quality and restoring natural hydrology. This methodology is guided by larger cities’ analysis of and commitment to green street strategies. Cities … Continued
This recorded webinar kicks-off a learning series about Integrated Water Management. The speakers for this first session provide an overview of Integrated Water Management, including context, drivers, examples and opportunities. A series of tools and resources for thinking further are … Continued
This wonderful guide, developed by the Chemung Soil and Water Conservation District in Horseheads, NY, has detailed, yet extremely understandable language and graphics (as well as humor) for people to be able to really understand our love-hate relationship with streams–especially … Continued
This document from EFC EPA, published in 2014, was inspired by and written for local government leaders. Though effectively managing urban stormwater runoff requires leadership and bold decision making at all levels of government, it is at the local level … Continued
Funded by EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants, this guide was developed by the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments and Merrimack River Watershed Council, documenting the work they were doing directly with the environmental justice community to develop an effective program … Continued
These posters were part of a program funded by EPA’s Urban Waters Small Grants. The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments and Merrimack River Watershed Council created these posters in the language of area residents–working with the community to idenify the … Continued
This Trust for Public Land study shines a light on the successes and challenges of water-smart public parks, providing case studies of cities across the country. The document looks at both the technologies and the political issues involved in using … Continued
This issue of River Network’s quarterly newsletter explores the topic of turning our cities blue, of moving from gray to green infrastructure, and the related benefits to our communities of restoring the health of our urban waters. Download this resource
Description of how blue cities can undo the effects of open space and green corridor reduction. CRWA is working to reengineer urban landscapes to function more naturally to reduce flooding and stormwater runoff pollution. Download this resource
Website of Chesapeake Stormwater Network, an organization that promotes more sustainable stormwater management in the Chesapeake Bay through advocating for the reform of federal, state and local laws, permits, regulations and designs manuals. Website Link
Report describing the process of daylighting streams. Daylighting projects liberate waterways that were buried in culverts or pipes or otherwise removed from view and re-establishes a waterway in its old channel where feasible, or a new channel. Download this resource
Recorded webinar presenting Baltimore’s Green Pattern Book, a tool created as part of the city’s Growing Green Initiative to help guide the greening of vacant land by city agencies, nonprofit organizations and individual residents.
Centennial Creek, a tributary of the Salinas River, begins east of the City of Paso Robles, California and flows into the Salinas River on the west side of town. The Salinas River flows into the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This is significant because any improvements made to Centennial Creek, though miles away, will positively impact the marine sanctuary.
Heartland Conservation Alliance (HCA) was created as an alliance of diverse partners who share a vision and work collectively to conserve natural areas, connect people to nature and convene partners. Their mission is creating multiple benefits for people by focusing on projects that save Kansas City’s valuable natural resources and give them back to benefit the community—“ecological democracy.”
While ECO-Action serves as the lead for the project there are many partners working together to address stormwater and combined sewer overflow impact on Proctor Creek. Green infrastructure concepts and principals are being infused into the Clark Atlanta University dual engineering courses. This marks a milestone in the efforts led by ECO-Action to increase awareness among faculty, staff, and students about the importance of green infrastructure and the type of positive impacts these practices and principals can have at a local level.
In 2012 the Pollution Prevention Institute at Kansas State University was awarded a $60,000 urban waters small grant from EPA, part of which was used to conduct water quality monitoring in the river channel in addition to engaging the public in the removal of invasive species along the river bank. Intended outcomes of their project include establishing an understanding of the pollutants present in the river and helping create a more informed public which understands the importance and process of maintaining the integrity of the river channel.
Once known as the most polluted lake in the nation, Onondaga Lake has received significant attention over the last several decades. The lake’s upper water’s have undergone tremendous improvement because of efforts to remediate industrial and municipal pollution. Improvements to the county’s wastewater treatment plant as well as the reduction of combined sewer overflows (CSO) through the use of both grey and green infrastructure have led to the resurgence of the lake’s fishery.
Water quality is not the most zany or attractive topic in which to engage citizens. They know it’s important, but how, really, can they affect change? The Galveston Bay Foundation has launched a successful suite of programs —matching playful and provacative messaging with down-to-earth behaviors—that will empower local citizens to improve water quality in the bay.
Each model site is a place where neighborhood surface waters (streams and lakes), receives water runoff from storms (stormwater), and becomes an outdoor learning site for investigations and actions by students from nearby schools. Thus Keep It Clean (KIC) – Neighborhood Environmental Trio (NET) means a program focusing on clean water (KIC), each with a school, park (preferably with a recreation center), and an accessible body of water or waterway within a few minutes walk of each other (NET).
In a city like New Orleans, community is everything. Walks down the street, one can simply speak to everyone passing by, and everyone would keep an eye out for one another. Everyone was each other’s neighbor. Eight years ago, prior to Hurricane Katrina, walking around the Lower Ninth Ward meant passing several homes on every block.
Plaster Creek is a 14 mile-long stream that drains a watershed covering approximately 58 square miles, in metropolitan Grand Rapids, Michigan. The creek initially flows through agricultural lands, then commercial and residential areas, and finally an industrial zone and low-income neighborhoods before emptying into the Grand River.
The City of Newark was built along the banks of the Passaic River. In 1983, the Ironbound neighborhood was one of the first in the nation to be designated as a “superfund site” for dioxin along the Passaic River.
Ellerbe Creek flows out of the heart of Durham, North Carolina through the community on its 14 mile path to Falls Lake Reservoir, a drinking water source for more than half a million people. It offers a refuge for people and nature from the stresses of city life across its compact 37 square mile watershed. The entire creek has been designated as impaired since 1998 for ecological/biological integrity. Falls Lake Reservoir has similarly been identified as an impaired water body due to excessive levels of nitrates and phosphates associated with poorly managed stormwater and failing waste water systems.
The Garden is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to spark a passion for plants and cultivate an understanding of their vital relationship to people and the environment.” Their commitment extends beyond the gardens and into the community through various projects and programs that work to engage people in learning about the importance of a healthy environment.