This report looks at how states are devising a variety of forward-thinking solutions to pressing challenges, with approaches range from simple to complex, and from narrowly focused to cross-media in scope. Some environmental agencies are putting information technology to work to promote public awareness and environmental protection while achieving efficiencies and cutting costs. Others are providing special training to their staff to enhance effectiveness.
Three initiatives are empowering an increasingly environmentally conscious public to help themselves and their communities. Through its RiverSmart Program, the District of Columbia Department of the Environment is assisting homeowners and schools with property retrofits to capture rainwater and help protect local waterbodies. Another DDOE initiative – Healthy Homes – assesses environmental health threats to children and pregnant women and provides customized solutions to eliminate them. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has implemented the Beach Nowcast Program to work with local public health departments along the state’s Great Lakes coast to improve public access to timely water quality monitoring data for recreational beaches.
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