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High school student wins U.S. EPA award for Portland flood mitigation study

After taking home the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award from the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) in May, a high school junior from Oregon will present his research at next year’s EPA National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. Adam Nayak of Cleveland High School (Portland, Ore.) […]

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Stormwater credit trading could ease Chesapeake Bay pollution, study says

Chesapeake Bay, the third-largest estuary in the world, has a chronic nutrient pollution problem. In 2010, gradual runoff pollution from more than 13.6 million people living in the watershed grew to national concern, prompting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set strict total maximum daily load (TMDL) regulations limiting nutrient emissions. Meeting those regulatory […]

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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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