The EPA-supported Center for Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Management was established to conduct interdisciplinary research to understand and to influence how decisions are made at multiple spatial and jurisdictional scales to manage stormwater treatment systems to protect and to restore water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. By the time that indicators of impairment are measured within the Chesapeake Bay, the opportunity for adaptive management to alleviate the degradation of water quality may have already passed. It is therefore imperative to identify headwater landscapes that are particularly vulnerable to stress from high pollutant loads, population growth and changes in land management.
The Center serves as a focal point to bring together stakeholders and researchers from multiple disciplines to improve stormwater management in urban and suburban settings; to reduce pollutant loads of nutrients, sediments, organics and metals; and to minimize stormwater volume and energy use across a range of storm event magnitudes. To accomplish these objectives, the Center identified the cognitive and institutional barriers preventing communities from adopting green infrastructure measures to manage stormwater. Additionally, the Center designed green infrastructure and developed methods to help stakeholders visualize alternative infrastructures. It modeled the environmental and financial benefits of these alternative infrastructures and served as a forum for stakeholder discussions.
“An ounce of stormwater pollution prevention is worth a pound of cure, particularly when it adds multiple benefits through green infrastructure and natural treatment systems,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. The Center helps Chesapeake Bay states and stakeholders find solutions to some of our most challenging water quality problems through science-based innovation and collaboration.”