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Around the Water Cooler: Green Infrastructure Making News

2013 January 25

By Lahne Mattas-Curry

EPA will help Philadelphia monitor water quality in rivers to measure the effectiveness of green infrastructure.

Some of my fellow bloggers and I have highlighted a variety of ways “green infrastructure” has helped cities save money, and showcased the impact it has had on helping communities become more sustainable.

We’ve even featured a video of EPA scientist Dr. Bill Shuster at work exploring the benefits of rain gardens and other “green infrastructure” techniques to reduce stormwater runoff from reaching local waterways.

We’re not the only ones who have noticed the potential of green infrastructure. A recent update on the online publication Yale Environment 360 highlights Philadelphia as a possible model for the rest of the country.  In June 2011, the city approved the Green City, Clean Waters program, a 25-year, $2-billion plan to reduce combined sewer overflows.

In April 2012, EPA signed off on the project. This is noted as one of the most comprehensive green infrastructure efforts in the country. EPA will help Philadelphia monitor water quality in surrounding rivers to measure the effectiveness of the green infrastructure efforts.

In another recent article, “Save New York by Making it Soft,” New Yorker magazine writer Thomas De Monchaux explores how establishing wetlands around Manhattan could “create new ecosystems, facilitating greater ecological connectivity, improving water quality, and enhancing opportunities for habitat growth.”

Do you have an example or an idea for tapping green infrastructure around where you live? Please share them in the comments section below.

About the Author: Lahne Mattas-Curry works with EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research team and is a frequent “Around the Water Cooler” contributor.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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8 Responses leave one →
  1. DC Water External Affairs permalink
    January 25, 2013

    Great blog post. You should include the District of Columbia, DC Water and EPA’s “Clean Rivers, Green Partnership Agreement” in this conversation. The agreement will explore using green techniques to reduce combined sewer overflows. More information can be found at http://www.dcwater.com/lid

  2. Lahne Mattas-Curry permalink*
    January 25, 2013

    Thanks for the comment! Yes, there are a lot of cities around the country investing in making the water cleaner.

    I have recently written about cleaning the Anacostia – see here: http://blog.epa.gov/science/2012/11/around-the-water-cooler-rivers-offer-food-and-fun-but-only-when-clean/

    I will check out the link, thanks for sharing!

    Lahne

  3. Nikky permalink
    January 29, 2013

    It’s a Good blog

    Regards
    Nikky

  4. woodrownelson permalink
    January 31, 2013

    Cool interactive poster helps explain Trees Tame Stormwater. arborday.org/stormwater

  5. Adam permalink
    January 31, 2013

    Baltimore has a goal of making its Harbor swimmable and fishable by 2020. Check out the Healthy Harbor Initiative: http://healthyharborbaltimore.org/

    The Healthy Harbor Plan address sewage overflows, littering, and stormwater pollution throughout the Harbor’s watershed.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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