Summer 2007
Issue # 27

In this issue:

1. Staff News
2. This Just In
3. Project Updates
4. Projects in Action
5. Feature Articles
6. FYI

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 Runoff Rundown

Welcome to the 27th issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly electronic newsletter!

Stormwater Institute 2007
Register NOW - registration is limited!

October 9-11, 2007
Maumee Bay Resort and Conference Center
Toledo, OH

Draft Agenda Available -

The Stormwater Institute is an intensive training program for stormwater professionals from local governments, nonprofits, and the private sector that will focus on:

  • Strengthening the technical skills needed to develop and run effective programs for stormwater management, illicit discharge detection and elimination, erosion and sediment control, pollution prevention, and watershed education;
  • Providing practical guidance on municipal stormwater program setup, design and administration, including staffing, budgeting, financing and resources; and
  • Offering a forum for interaction among local, state, and federal stormwater department and agency staff in the region that will result in enhanced communication across these different levels of government after the Stormwater Institute.

While the Institute will largely focus on the issues related to the Maumee Bay and surrounding region, participants from all parts of the country will find this training valuable.

Visit the Stormwater Institute web page for more information and to register.


While we bid farewell to Tom Schueler as he moves onto the next stage of his professional career, the Center welcomes a few folks in the early stages of theirs. In May, Kathy Proebstle joined the Center team as Administrative Assistant. A Virginia native, Kathy is a Virginia Tech graduate and most recently provided program assistance to a D.C. area research group. We are also pleased to have two students provide some much needed support to our technical and accounting divisions – Krisztian Varsa and Apu Patel, respectively. Kris is pursuing his Masters of Regional Planning at Cornell University and Apu is a third-year accounting undergraduate at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Welcome!

Another departure was our administrative assistant Lani Nguyen who has provided two years of outstanding support to us while she completed her Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology. We wish her every best wish as she begins her new career.

The Center would also like to announce the application deadline for the Program Director opening has been extended to August 31st. For a position description and application instructions, please visit our Job Openings page at


Annual Report: The Center is pleased to release the 2006 Annual Report, currently available for download: (PDF - 2MB)

Hard copies will become available in late August. Please contact us via email or by phone (410.461.8323) if you wish to receive a hard copy of the report.

IDDE Webcast: The latest U.S. EPA Stormwater Program's Webcast, "Conducting Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Investigation (IDDE 201)," took place on July 11th and has been archived to be viewed here: Jennifer Zielinski, P.E., Center Director of Learning, was one of the two speakers during the session and referred to the numerous IDDE resources on the Center website:

In July, we also expanded our free Center Publication offerings by adding Better Site Design: A Handbook for Changing Development Rules in Your Community as a free PDF download. This resource completes the comprehensive suite of guidance documents on Better Site Design (BSD) produced by the Center. Earlier this year, the Center made available many other BSD resources for free download: "Consensus Agreement on Model Development Principles to Protect Our Streams, Lakes and Wetlands" booklet, outlining nationally recommended design principles; the Redevelopment Roundtable Consensus Document, designed to promote more environmental-friendly redevelopment and infill projects; and nine consensus documents resulting from various local site planning roundtables held in the Chesapeake Bay area over the last five years. Visit the Better Site Design section of the Center E-store to download these resources :


What we’re wrapping up:

The Center is finalizing its Stormwater Management Assessment and Pilot Study in Fairfax, VA. The Center worked with Fairfax and U.S. EPA Region 3 to identify retrofit and restoration projects to help the City meet its MS4 permit requirements as a Phase II community, and its TMDL for bacteria in Accotink Creek. This pilot study is being used to see how well a combination of structural retrofits, non-structural projects and stream restoration can improve water quality in a recently-restored 1800 foot reach of Accotink Creek. The Center recommended Fairfax High School as the top retrofit project, where opportunities for converting a dry pond into a wet pond with wetland features, installing a cistern to collect rooftop runoff, and incorporating porous pavers in lightly-used areas around the building were identified. The report also identified non-structural project recommendations including a pilot downspout disconnection program in one neighborhood, updating its stormwater ordinance, crafting a city-wide pollution source control plan, and working with targeted businesses to create stormwater pollution prevention plans. We are happy to report that the City is moving forward with the top stormwater retrofit, seeking funding for the pond conversion, and will be working to address stormwater ordinance concerns. Keep an eye out for future updates on the City's progress in our "Projects in Action" section of Runoff Rundown.

Later this summer, the Center will release two new articles in the Wetlands & Watersheds Article Series. Article 4, "A Local Ordinance to Protect Wetland Functions," describes a regulatory approach that local governments can use to protect wetlands from the impacts of stormwater runoff generated by land development on sites draining to wetlands. Article 6, "The Importance of Protecting Vulnerable Streams and Wetlands at the Local Level," makes the case for expanded local protection of streams and wetlands that may not be fully protected by state or federal law due to their perceived isolation from perennial or navigable waters.

Since last covered in the Spring issue, the Center has produced the Draft Stream and Conservation Area Report for Gordon Creek in Virginia. The report highlights key areas for protection, including contiguous forest tracts, old growth Loblolly Pine complexes by the mouth of the river, and a bald eagle nest in a large forested cypress wetland complex. Center staff are looking forward to stakeholder meetings that will take place in the watershed early this fall to receive public input on priorities in this watershed with a pristine freshwater tidal marsh.

What We’re Working On:

The Center has been assisting EPA and Tetra Tech with the development of a Post-construction Stormwater Guidance manual. Of particular note, Center staff have developed some handy, on-the-ground tools for stormwater managers to help implement their programs. These include a revised stormwater model ordinance; a post-construction program self-audit, a stormwater manual building tool; checklists for plan review; BMP construction and maintenance; and a performance bond tool. The post-construction guidance is scheduled for completion by Fall 2007.

The Credit is a high-quality river flowing through the fast-growing Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. As part of its smart growth strategy, the region is intensifying urban growth in some parts of the watershed to preserve the rural character of others. The challenge is how to protect water quality and habitat in the watersheds slated for intense growth. Center staff have been working with the Credit Valley Conservation Authority to develop design guidance for low impact development practices in the region. The Center has teamed with Aquafor Beech to write guidance on effective stormwater practices that can withstand the snowy winters. The guidance, which will be completed this autumn, will be adopted by the Conservation Authority as part of a regional sustainable water strategy.

The Center has been working with the Upper Neuse River Basin Association (UNRBA) as well as Durham County, NC Stormwater Program and the City of Durham Stormwater Services on the Lick Creek Watershed Plan. The partners joined us last winter for field assessments to look at the land from a stream-side perspective. This past spring, Center staff presented findings and recommendations to the partners and the public that include improved erosion and sediment controls and land preservation in this rapidly developing watershed between Raleigh and Durham. In the coming year, the UNRBA will combine the field findings with water quality monitoring data and a critical lands analysis to complete the watershed plan.

The Center continues its work with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to develop unified state-wide stormwater regulations to replace the existing rules. The Center's role has been to develop a BMP selection and compliance tool, called the Nutrient Design System, to verify that on-site nutrient performance goals can be met. The Design System also uses recent research on BMP performance to promote BMP design features that do a better job at removing nutrients. Of note, the proposed system offers an ambitious set of low impact development credits that can be used to reduce a site's "adjusted impervious cover." The recommended nutrient-based stormwater criteria were based on an analysis of stormwater monitoring data from nearly 70 stations across Virginia. The recommendations were presented to a Technical Advisory Committee in May, and the Center is now working with DCR on revisions. DCR will soon propose new regulations to enter the rule-making process, with final regulations expected in 2008.

We recently completed the first phase of a project with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission to develop a Coastal Stormwater Supplement (CSS) to the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual. The culmination of this initial phase of the project was a technical memorandum that summarizes our most recent research on the impacts of urbanization on coastal aquatic resources and the factors that influence stormwater BMP design and performance in the coastal plain. The technical memorandum provides recommendations and technical background for the CSS, which will be developed during the second phase of the project.

The Center continues its work on the development of a Downspout Disconnection Program for the City of Baltimore, MD. The project, which has involved investigation into a number of existing downspout disconnection programs across the US and Canada, will establish criteria and guidelines for a downspout disconnection program that can be implemented within the City of Baltimore. The disconnection program will eventually be tested in a residential area of the Herring Run Watershed, as well as on a number of institutional sites within the Jones Falls Watershed.

What we're starting:

The Center kicked off two new projects this summer in the state of Delaware. The Center is teaming with Horsley Witten Group and Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson to revise the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). In the first year of this project, the team will develop a draft of the new regulations using input from DNREC staff, stakeholder groups, and a regulatory advisory committee, as well as examples from other state and local regulations that provide incentives for the use of green technology BMPs and integrate on-site stormwater management with a watershed approach.

For the other Delaware project, the Center has started work with Duffield Associates, also through a grant from DNREC, to develop watershed management plans for the St. Jones and Broadkill watersheds. Over the next few months, we will be evaluating local programs and regulations related to water resource protection for Kent and Sussex Counties, and the Cities of Dover, Milton, Georgetown, and Lewes. We will also be conducting extensive upland assessments to identify stormwater retrofits and tree planting, and pollution prevention opportunities.

Because of its location in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, suburban growth is quickly spreading to the largely rural Carroll County, MD. Currently home to approximately 150,000 people, population projections suggest an increase of about 35% over the next 10+ years. The County has decided to be proactive in its approach to dealing with these strong development pressures, so with funding from Constellation Energy, the Chesapeake Bay Trust and Carroll County, the Center and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay will conduct a local site planning roundtable. This year-long process systematically examines the County's codes and ordinances with an eye to promoting more environmentally-sensitive and economically-viable development. Additionally, the roundtable will bring together local government agencies, the development community, neighborhood organizations, engineering and planning firms, and environmental and conservation groups to identify specific changes to development regulations to address future urbanization.

With an area of nearly 400 square miles and a population of more than one million, Fairfax County is the most populated jurisdiction in Virginia and is facing continued development and redevelopment demands. With funding from the Alcoa Foundation, NV Homes, and Elm Street Development, the Center completed a Codes and Ordinances Review this past spring to determine how well the county's development regulations align with the National Model Development Principles. These findings will be used to support our upcoming watershed plan for Accotink Creek in Fairfax County.

Center staff have just returned from several days in the Bronx, where they searched for stormwater disconnection opportunities in priority combined sewer drainages and along the Bronx River greenway. We are working with the Bronx River Alliance and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation's Natural Resources Group, to integrate their 2006 Bronx River Ecological Restoration and Management Plan with the 2007 Bronx River Watershed Assessment and Management Report. This project is the third phase of the multi-jurisdictional Bronx River Watershed Plan that began in 2005.

Periodically, Runoff Rundown has this special section to share news from groups about how our work may have been implemented or how they have helped leverage new funding or projects. Please be sure to share with us how the Center's partnership or resources have made a difference in your community! Email us at!

We talked about our work with Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in the Spring 2006 Runoff Rundown and are very pleased to report that progress is being made in the Kingston Lake Watershed - in both the City of Conway and Horry County. In fact, the city and county entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to work together on a subwatershed restoration strategy for Crabtree Swamp, the most impacted subwatershed that is experiencing intense development. As part of this work, Susan Libes, a professor at CCU has been working with her undergraduate students to complete a stormwater management plan for the 260-acre CCU campus, which sits in Conway. Dr. Libes has also been working with the University president and administrators to pass a Better Site Design resolution for the campus. The president of CCU expressed the need for a stormwater advisory board on campus. This board will be formed and will start to work on implementation once the stormwater management plan is complete.

Horry County has acknowledged the work that Dr. Libes and her students have been doing and announced that the County will be working with its public schools and hospitals to conform to the stormwater recommendations, saying that individual residents shouldn't be expected to engage in watershed stewardship if the County isn't willing to set the example.

Finally, water and soil conservation districts, which have traditionally focused on agriculture and stream channelization for farming in the 1940s-50s will join forces with city and county agencies to implement recommendations from the watershed management plan. This process is a great example of how communities are working across jurisdictional boundaries to improve watershed health and water quality, and we will most certainly be providing updates in future issues of Runoff Rundown as things progress!


To truly reflect the diverse ways Tom has influenced the watershed protection movement during his years the Center, we must acknowledge Tom's "Bad Watershed Haiku." Last October, at the Watershed Institute in Ohio, Tom treated participants to both his own poetic reflections on watersheds (humbly using the pseudonym Mo-ti) and thoughts from many others. He shared with us his notes from that session, and we're sharing it as a PDF here:


Street Sweeping and Storm Drain Cleanouts Research Project presented at New Zealand Conference

The Center and its many project partners continue their work in the paired catchment field study in Baltimore City to help determine the effectiveness of street sweeping and storm drain cleanouts. In mid-July, monitoring the combined effects of street sweeping and storm drain cleanout began, and will continue over a six-month period. This past February, a member of the research team presented the project and preliminary findings at the 2nd International Conference on Sustainability Engineering and Science, hosted by the New Zealand Society for Sustainability Engineering and Science. To read the paper, you can download the PDF directly at
. The project has been extended for one-year with a completion date of Spring 2008.


PUBLICATIONS: The National Association of Counties (NACo) has updated its water quality technical guidance document "County Water Quality Issue Brief: Using GIS Tools to Link Land Use Decisions to Water Resource Protection" and released the new "County Wetlands Data Guidebook." Both references are available for free download at under "Water Quality".

PUBLICATION: Similar to the first book, also written by Dan Shaw and other members of the Great River Greening landscape ecology staff, Plants for Stormwater Design, Volume II: Species Selection for the Upper Midwest is a guide to lead designers through a plant selection process that takes into account environmental factors and stormwater management practices. Visit for more information.

PUBLICATIONS: The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) released the Clean Water Act Jurisdictional Handbook to help clarify last year's Supreme Court ruling in Rapanos v. United States with regard to the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction over wetlands and streams. For a free download of the Handbook, visit

WEBSITE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox, a comprehensive set of Web-based resources designed to assist communities across the U.S. conduct locally effective watershed education and outreach activities. The Toolbox, online at, includes a searchable catalog of nearly 800 print, radio, and TV ads and outreach materials in the following categories: lawn and garden care, motor vehicle care, pet care, septic system care, household chemicals and waste, and general stormwater and storm drain awareness.

WEBSITE: At the Center, we have found that there is limited information out there about Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO). King County's (WA) CSO Control Program website offers a great overview of what CSOs are, why they occur, and presents what they are doing to control them.

WEBSITE: The Integration & Application Network, an initiative of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, is hosting a seminar series to promote discussion among the different environmental entities in the area. These seminars come as interactive and plain slides, and as an mp3 podcast. The most recent, from June, is entitled "American eel dynamics in Chesapeake Bay: a model system for developing a coast-wide understanding."

WEBCAST: The next U.S. EPA Watershed Academy Webcast is "Earth GaugeTM: Conveying Environmental Information Through the TV Weather Report," August 15, 2007, 1–3 pm Eastern. Speakers: Sara Espinoza, National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) and Joe Witte, ABC 7 WJLA - TV. You must register in advance to participate in the Webcast. Registration opens August 8, 2007:

REPORT: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released the report, "Further Implementation and Better Cost Data Needed to Determine Impact of EPA's Storm Water Program on Communities," to Congress in May 2007. The Center was interviewed a few times over the course of its development and the report can be downloaded directly from the GAO site at

TRAINING PROGRAM: The Institute for Conservation Leadership announces that they are accepting invitations for the 2007-2008 "Leading From Within" program. Beginning November 2007, the five-month leadership development program includes two 3-day workshops in the Chicago, IL area, and leadership coaching support. Applications are due September 10, 2007. More information:

GRANT OPPORTUNITY: The Joint Watershed Research Grant Program is offering up to $200,000 in grant funding to qualified academic or research institutions, and nonprofit or for-profit organizations for projects that could be used within the seven county Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Organized by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District in partnership with the Mississippi Water Management Organization. Pre-proposal deadline is September 28, 2007.


CONFERENCE: 6th Annual North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition (StormCon'07), August 20-23, 2007, JW Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix, AZ.

CONFERENCE: Wetlands 2007: Watershed Strategies to Protect and Restore Wetland's Ecological and Social Services. August 27-29, 2007. Colonial Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center, Williamsburg, VA . Organized by Association of State Wetland Managers.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (deadline September 10, 2007): Sixth National Monitoring Conference: "Monitoring: Key to Understanding Our Waters", May 18-22, 2008, Atlantic City Convention Center and Sheraton Atlantic City Atlantic City, NJ. Organized by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council.

CONFERENCE: "Balancing Private and Public Rights in the Coastal Zone in the Era of Climate Change: The Fifteenth Anniversary of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council."September 20-21, 2007, University of South Carolina Law School, Columbia, SC. Organized by the University of South Carolina School of Law and the Georgetown Environmental Law & Policy Institute at Georgetown University Law Center.

CONFERENCE: 2007 SERNW and PNW SWS Joint Conference, September 25-28, 2007, Yakima Convention Center, Yakima, WA. Organized by the Society of Wetland Scientists Pacific Northwest Chapter and Society for Ecological Restoration Northwest Chapter. or

CONFERENCE: 2007 Brownfield Communities Network Summit: Redeveloping for the Future, September 25-26, 2007, Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Washington, D.C. Organized by the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals.

CONFERENCE: ASLA 2007 Annual Meeting and EXPO, October 5-9, 2007, San Francisco, CA. Organized by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

CONFERENCE: 10th Annual Wetlands & Watersheds Workshop. October 15-18, 2007. Holiday Inn Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ. Organized by the Wetlands & Watersheds Work Group.

CONFERENCE: "Ecological Landscaping: From scientific principles to public policies and practices,"October 28-31, 2007, Cleveland, OH. Organized by the Ohio State University's Urban Landscape Ecology Program.

CONFERENCE: Chesapeake Watershed Forum: Sharing Strategies to Manage Growth and Protect Our Waters, October 12-14, 2007, National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV. Organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.

CONFERENCE: 2007 AWRA Annual Conference, November 12-15, 2007, Embassy Suites Hotel, Albuquerque, NM. Organized by the American Water Resources Association.

CONFERENCE: Partners in Community Forestry National Conference, November 14-15, 2007, Baltimore, MD. Organized by the Alliance for Community Trees.

Runoff Rundown Team: Lauren Lasher, editor; Tiffany Wright. Contributions from Center staff.

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