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Study quantifies the impact of coastal runoff in dollars and cents

A recent Duke University (Durham, N.C.) study makes the first, long-sought evidence linking Gulf of Mexico hypoxia to economic effects. The study, published January in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows hypoxic dead zones in the gulf drive up the price of large shrimp relative to smaller sizes. This effect causes economic […]

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Most U.S. coastlines will sink faster than the global average, NOAA report cautions

While sea levels across the world have long been expected to rise steadily as temperatures increase and ice caps melt, an alarming report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns that almost all U.S. coastlines risk more dramatic changes in sea level than the global average. The Jan. 19 report frames potential changes […]

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$1.5 million green infrastructure investment transforms Chicago schoolyard

Renovations to a Chicago elementary school campus totaling $1.5 million will allow the space to retain more than 492,103 L (130,000 gal) of stormwater. The schoolyard’s transformation will promote physical activity, accommodate STEM-focused experiential learning, reduce runoff pollution, and demonstrate the benefits of green infrastructure construction as well as reduce flood risks. Watch a 3-minute […]

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Houston mayor approves $10 million for 22 proactive stormwater rehab projects

On Jan. 11, 2017, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner sent in SWAT to solve long-standing drainage problems across the city. But instead of carrying out high-stakes military operations, this SWAT — the cleverly named Storm Water Action Team — will commence work on approximately 100 deferred projects focused on maintaining and upgrading Houston’s aging flood management […]

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DC Water and the WEF announce inaugural National Green Infrastructure Program certifications

DC Water and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) on Jan. 30 announced the issuance of the first certifications under the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). The NGICP is designed to verify that the inaugural group of 62 certified individuals have successfully demonstrated competency in the foundational knowledge, concepts, and terminology required to perform tasks […]

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UK parliament committee calls for new approaches to flood management

Faced with predictions from the U.K. government’s recent National Flood Resilience Review to expect 20% to 30% more intense rainfall due to climate change in coming years, the bipartisan Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee of Parliament last month released a report calling for a complete overhaul of how the country approaches its vulnerability to […]

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NCAR study portends extremely rainy 21st century

If trends toward warmer climates continue at the same pace that they have during the last few decades, the U.S. could see extreme rainfall events up to four times more frequently by the end of the 21st century, a new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR; Boulder, Colo.) finds. These storms could […]

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Removing fallen leaves can improve urban water quality

The timely removal of leaf litter can reduce harmful phosphorus concentrations in stormwater by more than 80% in Madison, Wis., according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study. Autumn leaf litter contributes a significant amount of phosphorus to urban stormwater, the study found. The USGS-led study, Evaluation of Leaf Removal as a Means To […]

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Ontario Environmental Commissioner releases 4-step stormwater funding reform plan

According to the latest installment of Canada’s annual Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, more than 650 stormwater-related urban floods throughout the country levied damages to more than 66,000 private properties between 2009 and 2016. To help prevent these damages, fix existing stormwater infrastructure, and accommodate future growth, the office of Dianne Saxe, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario […]

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Urban design software matches abandoned land parcels to green infrastructure projects

When Nicholas de Monchaux, an associate professor of architecture and urban design at the University of California, Berkeley, began his “Local Code” project almost 7 years ago, he set out to address two of the most pressing problems facing modern cities. Local Code uses open-source software to match thousands of abandoned city lots with site-specific […]

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