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Virtual Experiences Bring Stormwater Outreach to Life

Part of the challenge of achieving financial and social buy-in for flood management projects is that their benefits often only become apparent when flooding does not occur. Without the ability to demonstrate, for example, how investment in flood control by public officials can minimize future disasters or how taking simple mitigation steps can help homeowners […]

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Build an At-Home ‘Storm in a Glass’ to Engage Kids in Stormwater

Effective stormwater management goes beyond utilities and regulatory agencies. Individuals need to participate, too. Helping these stakeholders understand the importance of stormwater and the forces that drive is an effort that can begin at home.  In April, Popular Science featured a simple, 10-minute experiment aimed at helping children better understand precipitation and the importance of stormwater management. The simple demonstration requires only water, food coloring, shaving cream, and common […]

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Study: Urbanites value green infrastructure benefits

Because green infrastructure is decentralized by nature, infrastructure managers often depend on participation from community members to ensure these systems can successfully mitigate flooding and provide sought-after co-benefits. This could entail volunteering time and labor to help maintain neighborhood green infrastructure projects or contributing funding to support upkeep activities. According to a new study from […]

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Phoenix, Ariz., hosts inaugural Stormwater Awareness Week

During the last week of January, the importance of individual contributions to stormwater management took center stage in Phoenix, Ariz., as messages urging locals to avoid littering, to properly dispose of hazardous chemicals, and to clean up after their pets were posted throughout the city. The messaging was part of the City of Phoenix Water […]

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Volunteers ‘Adopt-a-Drain’ to improve urban stormwater management

According to estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 1 in 4 Americans donate their time each year as volunteers. A growing number of U.S. municipalities are capitalizing on residents’ willingness to pitch in with new volunteer programs that support stormwater management and protect vulnerable waterways. In the Minneapolis–St. Paul (Minn.) metro area, […]

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New scale helps meteorologists measure positives and negatives of atmospheric river storms

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are a newly understood phenomenon, officially defined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS; Boston) just 2 years ago. ARs – narrow, fast-moving bands of highly concentrated atmospheric water vapor that commonly stretch hundreds of miles in length – often result in severe rain or snow storms when that vapor makes landfall. On […]

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Video animations depict market-based options for stormwater infrastructure and finance

Stormwater financing can be complicated. Luckily, a team from the Great Lakes area has created a collection of animated videos to help explain three market-based financing options. Animations by the team, funded by the Great Lakes Protection Fund, cover community-based public–private partnerships, stormwater credit trading, and environmental impact bonds. The team works as part of […]

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Minnesota agency offers online industrial stormwater training

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has created a first-of-its-kind, condensed, online, freely available training course on its industrial stormwater regulations and permitting program. The program, which covers the state’s 2015–2020 industrial stormwater permit, condenses an all-day, in-person training workshop down to about 1 hour. MPCA also still offers and highly encourages in-person trainings, according […]

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Massachusetts regulators help MS4 communities meet public outreach obligations

Massachusetts environmental regulators are making it easier for 260 municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permittees in the state to meet public outreach and education requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) partnered with the Massachusetts Statewide Stormwater Coalition, a group of representatives from 94 municipal […]

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Survey results caution against ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to green infrastructure outreach

Effective stormwater management requires participation from private landowners who help prevent runoff and flooding in their communities by building household-scale green infrastructure (GI). However, outreach efforts to spur wider GI construction often take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, failing to consider the site-level social, financial, and ecological factors that influence specific landowners’ decisions to implement GI. The […]

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