Created in the 1990s, the San Juan Bay Estuary Program (Estuario) is the only tropical estuary in the National Estuary Program. Estuario serves 8 municipalities in the San Juan metropolitan area, not only providing environmental and resiliency programs but also … Continued
People learn from each other, and inspire each other… People exchange ideas and practices and bring them into their own communities… People tackle hard questions and have honest exchanges… Urban Waters brings new voices and perspectives to … Continued
Through their Parks with Purpose program, The Conservation Fund and partner organizations are designing and implementing green infrastructure in underserved urban communities while engaging and training residents to make way for lasting change.
Join the National Water Trails Learning Network to step through the phases of water trail development, discuss the challenges and successes faced when creating and sustaining river access, and dive into a case study of a successful national water trail.
Together, partners in the Northwest Indiana area are leading people to the water. The LaPorte Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) – established in 1937 by the Indiana Soil Conservation Act – plays a vital role in both the Trail Creek Watershed Partnership and the Northwest Indiana Federal Partnership. They offer a variety of programs that educate and empower the community to take an active role in protecting their environment. In addition, the LaPorte SWCD is involved in watershed planning, advocating and implementing best management practices within the Trail Creek Watershed.
This report compiles informative case studies, focusing on programs that have successfully incorporated artists, art, and culture into their place-based, transformative approaches. These programs aimed to address affordability issues, make connections between people and their environment, promote holistic water resource management, increase community participation, mitigate and remediate damages, integrate community needs into infrastructure, and support community activism.
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.
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.
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.
With new water uses in these sections of the LA River and more revitalization on the horizon, water quality monitoring for public health and community engagement becomes chiefly important. Heal the Bay – an organization based in Santa Monica, California – has a strong history promoting environmental awareness and advocating for public health through their Beach Report Card program. Over the years they have found that when people are informed about water quality issues, they are more motivated to take care of their environment. In cooperation with students from Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC) and funded by EPA’s Urban Waters small grant program, Heal the Bay expanded this initiative to create a River Report Card for the LA River and other freshwater areas where people recreate and swim.
El Caño Martin Peña (CMP) is a 3.75-mile-long tidal channel located within the San Juan Bay National Estuary in Puerto Rico, the only tropical estuary within the National Estuary Program. The degraded channel has threatened not only communities’ health, but the ecosystem as well. ENLACE engages in public education activities to promote an understanding of the impacts of environmental degradation, fostering critical consciousness and democratic action to support restoration efforts. The restoration of the estuarine tidal channel will allow for mangroves to flourish and increase biodiversity, improving resilience during storms and providing opportunities for tourism.
This report on Sustainable Models for Green Infrastructure Maintenance in the Great Lakes Region summarizes the findings of a 2016 convening in Buffalo, NY of local government, land bank, sewer district, nonprofit, landscape, and community and workforce development professionals from … Continued
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.
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
This U.S. Water Alliance publication summarizes the overarching and regional challenges that demonstrate the need for more equitable approaches, then outlines the “three pillars of equity” based on USWA’s original research, as well as data from PolicyLink. The report goes … Continued
“The idea of an integrated systems approach to water is not new. Its full-scale implementation, however, has yet to be realized. There are many signs that water management in the US is entering another great era of change and innovation. … Continued
By focusing on Philadelphia and comparing this city’s mobility rates with other gentrification and displacement studies, it becomes evident that the effects of gentrification are extremely complex and can affect populations in a variety of ways depending on income level and other demographics.
The San Gabriel River drains a 713-mile watershed in the San Gabriel Mountains, flowing as far south as Long Beach, where it enters Alamitos Bay as a tidal river. It shares its watershed with two other major rivers: the Los Angeles and the Santa Ana.
The headwaters of the San Antonio River originate in Bexar County, from which it begins a 240-mile journey through six counties toward San Antonio Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. From Spain’s colonization efforts to the emergence of San Antonio as the second most populous city in Texas, the area’s rich history and culture have been shaped by the San Antonio River.
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
Executive Summary: “In an era rocked by climate change and other large-scale disruptions, our cities must be resilient in order to survive and thrive. But what does that mean, exactly? What is known about urban resilience, and what remains to … 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
This webinar was hosted by the Urban Waters Learning Network and recorded on Aug. 02, 2016 Are you working to reclaim urban waterways while occasionally bumping up against waterfront properties home to former industrial uses? Ever wonder how to get … 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
In this recorded webinar, you will learn how communities in Washington and San Francisco – driven by limited water resources – are seeking ways to integrate water management with other sectors and at varying scales, from the Basin to the … 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 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
A strategic plan to guide restoration, enhancement, and conservation efforts in the estuary and its tributaries; emphasizing wetlands, floodplain connectivity, off-channel habitat, and water quality. Download this resource
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.
In 2012 Groundwork Denver received funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 319 Nonpoint Source funds. With EPA’s funding Groundwork Denver has successfully created a non-point source watershed plan for the Lower Bear Creek.
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 Urban Waters Federal Partnership, started in 2011, has provided a formal, coordinated effort to restore the river. Cities along the entire length of the river have seen the benefits of partnership projects with improved green space and water quality.