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Billions spent worldwide to improve “natural” green infrastructure

The term green infrastructure generally refers to manmade structures that mimic the absorptive water control properties of nature. But more and more engineers, academics, and regulators are recognizing that the term also includes the very forests, meadows, and wetlands that inspire bioswales, porous hardscapes, and rain gardens. Last September, Governor Jerry Brown of California introduced […]

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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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University scientists develop artificial marshland to treat Louisiana stormwater

Scientists at Southeastern Louisiana University (Mandeville, La.) are using a relatively low-tech way of imitating natural marshland to help treat freshwater ponds contaminated by stormwater runoff. This marshland technology method is intended to improve water quality throughout St. Tammany Parish in Louisiana. It is a component of the newly initiated stormwater management plan, which launched […]

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Port of Brisbane finds success in $1 million pollution prevention project

In early 2013, Cyclone Oswald tore through huge swathes of eastern Australia, causing some $2.5 billion (AUD) in damage across Queensland and New South Wales. The torrent deposited more than 1.8 million Mg (2 million ton) of agricultural contaminants, sediments, and nutrients into the Moreton Bay, highlighting a critical need for increased flood protection in […]

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Chesapeake Bay summer ‘dead zone’ predicted to be slightly smaller in 2016

In Chesapeake Bay this year, the amount of algae that will decay will render a stretch of water approximately equal to the volume of 2.3 million Olympic-sized swimming pools unable to support life. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and local partners in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, […]

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Bringing life back to dead zones

University of Illinois scientist tests bioreactors that filter nutrient runoff, reduce hypoxic zones Dead zones — those regions that can be found in the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and even the Gulf of Mexico — are a serious problem for U.S. waterways. These hypoxic zones, the result of excess nitrogen and phosphorus run off, can […]

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ASCE seeks comments on three updated stormwater guidelines

The American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.) is seeking public comment on three updated guidelines: ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Design of Stormwater Impoundments, ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Installation of Stormwater Impoundments, and ASCE/EWRI Standard Guidelines: Operation and Maintenance of Stormwater Impoundments. The public comment period opened April 6 and will close on May 21, 2016. These […]

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Workshop report stresses roadside ditch management for improving water quality

Better management of roadside ditches could help improve water quality in the Chesapeake region, according to a workshop report from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP) on measures to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. The workshop, “Re-plumbing the Chesapeake Watershed: Improving roadside ditch management to […]

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Stormwater infiltration pilot project in California aims to boost aquifer recharge

A pilot project is testing the feasibility of using specially-designed ponds for catching stormwater and facilitating groundwater recharge in the Pajaro Valley region of California’s Central Coast, where aquifer levels are dwindling from overuse brought on by severe drought conditions. Andrew Fisher, a University of California, Santa Cruz hydrogeologist who is leading the project, built […]

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New EPA report examines point source progress in Hypoxia Task Force states

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a first-ever report that addresses the extent of nitrogen and phosphorus monitoring including discharge limits for major water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs) within the 12 states comprising the Hypoxia Task Force (HTF). Established in 1997, the HTF is a partnership of 12 states, five federal agencies, and a […]

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