Winter 2008
Issue # 29

In this issue:

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

 Runoff Rundown

Welcome to the 29th issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly electronic newsletter!


Happy New Year everyone!
We hope that everyone had an enjoyable and restful holiday season.  December is one of the Center's busiest times, but we always make time for our annual winter hike.  This year, we stayed close to home and traversed the scenic Number Nine Trolley Trail, a fine rails-to-trails example, in Ellicott City.

(top row L to R): Mike, Bernadette, Paul, Karen, Lisa, Kathy. (Bottom L to R): Erin, Lauren, Hye Yeong, Julie

group photo

We are excited to announce the arrival of two new team members. Kelly Collins, a Bucks County, PA native, joined us earlier this month as a Water Resource Engineer.  She comes by way of our favorite sweater-vested stormwater geek, Dr. Bill Hunt of NC State. At NC State, Kelly completed her Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Kelly spends her free time hiking and camping, throwing pottery, or talking pervious pavement – the focus of her thesis.  We also have Greg Hoffman, relocating from his native Michigan, starting next week as Program Manager.  Greg is a Professional Engineer with a Master of Engineering from Michigan State. In a trend of hiring those with international experience, both of these new folks had an internship overseas—Kelly in Ghana, and Greg in Sweden.

In other staffing news, Center veteran Paul Sturm, has been promoted to Program Director.  Way to go, Paul!

The Center has an opening for an additional Program Director. Read more about how to become part of the Center team:


Keep your eyes on South Carolina! No, not for the Primaries! The Center is exploring the idea of our next TWO Institutes targeting the Southeast-- a 2008 Stormwater Institute in South Carolina and a 2009 Watershed Institute in coastal Georgia.   What do you think?  Give Anne Kitchell a shout at if you have thoughts on potential partnerships, technical needs, and (of course) funding opportunities.

Article 4 of the Wetlands and Watersheds Series: "A Local Ordinance to Protect Wetland Functions"
This article introduces a new type of model ordinance for local protection of wetlands. Existing federal and state wetland permitting programs address some direct impacts to wetlands, such as filling, but are not designed to regulate inputs of stormwater or other pollutants. Local development regulations can fill this gap in wetland protection since local governments typically have control over local land use regulations and decisions. An adaptable model Wetland Drainage Area Protection Ordinance is provided to protect wetlands from indirect impacts by regulating land development within areas draining to them. Visit the article series web page here:

Manual 3 Cover

Free Downloads of USRM Manuals 1 & 2
Last month, the Center made its first two manuals of the Urban Subwatershed Restoration Manual Series permanently available for free download: Manual 1, An Integrated Framework to Restore Small Urban Watersheds and Manual 2, Methods to Develop Restoration Plans for Small Urban Watersheds. Released in 2005, these manuals accompany the latest manual of the series released this summer - Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices. Download all three of them from the Center e-store:

The Center has been accepted into the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance National Charity Seal (WGA) program.  This seal confirms that an evaluation of informational materials provided by the Center to the WGA shows that the organization meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability. Our Executive Director Hye Yeong Kwon responded by saying, "We have made it a top priority to have a highly efficient and responsible non-profit organization and we're glad that there is a clear way to represent that commitment." The Center hopes that this accreditation provides donors with the assurance that their money will be put to great use! To become a Friend of the Center: For more information on the WGA criteria, visit


A local needs survey of coastal plain communities is planned for March/April to provide guidance for us in adapting the Eight Tools of Watershed Protection to better serve coastal communities. This work is part of a larger Center project funded by the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET). Please contact Neely Law at if you wish to learn more or would like to participate in the survey.

In November, Center staff traveled to Henrico Co., VA to work with the James River Association (JRA) in the Horsepen Creek Watershed.  This 2-square-mile watershed is located in the suburbs of Richmond, VA, and consists of a mix of residential and commercial development.  The Center assessed the watershed for stream impacts, pollution prevention and stormwater retrofit opportunities with the help of JRA staff and volunteers that included local garden clubs and staff from the local Soil and Water Conservation District.  The two days in the field proved to be an eye opening experience for the volunteers.  The condition of Horsepen Creek is typical of developed areas, contained in a manmade concrete channel with minimal treatment of upland stormwater that drains into the creek (see pictures below).  The Center captured the field work findings in a prioritized list of projects identified to improve the health of the creek.  The projects included on-site stormwater management at big box stores in the commercial area of the watershed, and neighborhood-scale education and downspout disconnection efforts.  This spring, with the help of numerous volunteers, JRA will implement several of the identified projects in an impressive effort known as "Extreme Stream Makeover, Part II."  This effort is a follow-up to the similar and highly successful "Extreme Stream Makeover" in Old Town Creek watershed near Colonial Heights, VA completed in 2007.

team viewing suburban culvert

The field team investigates the stormdrain network draining to Horsepen Creek discover that streams are not always lovely places.

team walking channeled stream

Volunteers assess the extensive channelized section of Horsepen Creek and say "That was an easy stream walk...wait, where did the stream go?"

The Center, along with Horsley Witten Group and Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, has been hard at work with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) to make changes to the Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations. In June, Center staff attended a day-long retreat with DNREC to discuss changes to the regulations.  After reviewing both existing State regulations and relevant regulations from other states and municipalities, the team prepared a draft memo summarizing the proposed "stormwater philosophy" for the revised regulations. In November, we took part in another meeting with DNREC to further develop this philosophy. The Center recently completed a draft outline of the new regulations and will be presenting it to the Regulatory Advisory Committee in the next few days.

The Center has been busy in Maryland's Spa Creek Tidal Watershed since we first reported on this watershed assessment project.  Last fall, Center staff trained Spa Creek Conservancy (SCC) volunteers in Illicit Discharge Detection and field investigation.  After compiling findings from that trip and from earlier field assessments, we are pleased to report that the Spa Creek Tidal Watershed Assessment Report is complete.  The report identifies several prioritized watershed restoration and retrofit opportunities.  Some high priority projects include restoration opportunities at a public housing site, helping a local school meet the Maryland Certified Green School" standard, and working with area restaurants on pollution prevention strategies.  The Center looks forward to tackling another priority opportunity with the SCC - a green business certification program. We’ll provide details in a future issue as this program progresses.

The Center and Biohabitats are teaming up with Montgomery County (MD) Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this spring on an exciting project to reduce residential stormwater discharge volumes in four neighborhoods: the Rock Creek RainScapes project.  We will assess on a lot-by-lot basis how to best disconnect rooftops and retrofit driveways, and determine the best neighborhood streets to capture stormwater runoff.  We will also design a paired watershed study to measure how much runoff will be reduced as more homeowners adopt/install these practices.  This is a great project since little data currently exists to quantitatively demonstrate how widespread homeowner stewardship actions can help solve our stormwater woes.  Biohabitats will be preparing design, installation, and maintenance templates for the variety of practices to be employed, and DEP is mounting a huge education and outreach campaign to ensure implementation over the next few years.  We will keep you posted on monitoring results! 

The Center recently started work on the second phase of the Georgia Coastal Stormwater Supplement (CSS) project.  In conjunction with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission and the University of Georgia River Basin Center, we are developing the CSS to supplement the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual with design adaptations more useful to the communities of coastal Georgia.  The CSS will promote a comprehensive approach to stormwater management and the use of stormwater management practices, including better site design and low impact development practices, that will better protect the sensitive aquatic resources of coastal Georgia. 

The Center has launched the exciting three-year Extreme BMP Makeover project, funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.  The team will first use research and a series of BMP field assessments to develop the next generation of high-performing stormwater BMPs.  We will collaborate with several "Early Adopter" local governments --motivated partners seeking better ways to design, install, and maintain BMPs in their communities-- to install these innovative BMPs. Initially, the project will focus on the James River Basin, VA, but the results will be shared with communities across the Chesapeake Bay.  The outreach and educational components of this project are also being supported by Phillip Morris USA. Finally, this project includes efforts to have local plan reviewers and design consultants receive training and certification in designing, installing, and maintaining these successful BMPs.

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 Lauren at!

Heads up in the Bronx!  $1.5 million of a larger Yonkers court settlement fine are now available through a NFWF grant for implementing watershed restoration projects in the Bronx River Watershed.  It was certainly good timing on the watershed plan we helped complete last year, as it includes a laundry list of potential restoration projects just waiting to be implemented!  Check out the grant and the watershed recommendations at:
.  We highly recommend contacting Westchester County Planning Department and the Bronx River Alliance for additional insight and local partnering opportunities. 

One of the best gifts we received this holiday season was a council resolution passed by the Town of Leesburg, VA to support the short-term watershed restoration recommendations made by the Center and the Piedmont Environmental Council in 2006.  We have secured funding from the Home Depot Foundation to start the implementation ball rolling with the installation of demonstration rain gardens and local education campaigns on dry pond-to-forested pond conversions.  


Delaware Stormwater and Snow Angels

During the first week of December, several Center staff traveled to Delaware for upland field assessments in the St. Jones and Broadkill River watersheds.  As part of a larger watershed planning effort coordinated by Duffield Associates, this assessment focused on stormwater retrofitting and pollution prevention assessments in the urban watershed areas of Dover and Camden/Wyoming in the St. Jones; and Georgetown, Milton, and Lewes in the Broadkill. read more… snow angels


Getting Down and Dirty with Illicit Discharges

For six days in early November, the Center had the wet, but enjoyable, task of conducting our Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) training in the Jones Falls Watershed in Baltimore, MD.  Funded by the Rauch Foundation, this project will provide an opportunity to train local watershed groups, staff from Baltimore City and Baltimore County, citizens and local environmental consultants on the field and laboratory techniques used to detect illicit discharges. read more...


Where We're Speaking:

  • Hye Yeong Kwon on Better Site Design at "Green Development: Good for Water and the Bottom Line," February 24-26, 2008. Sheraton Music City Hotel, Nashville, TN. Organized by the KY Department for Environmental Protection and the TN Department of Environment & Conservation.
  • Paul Sturm and Julie Tasillo on "Cooperative Watershed Planning- A Baltimore Experience" at the 19th Annual Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution Conference "Progress Through Partnerships: Collaborating to Protect Our Watersheds", May 19-21, 2008, Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa, Groton, CT.  Co-sponsored by New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection in cooperation with the NPS Programs of the New England States, New York State, and EPA Regions I and II.
  • Bernadette DeBlander and Paul Sturm on Construction Site Runoff and BMPs "The Good, The Bad, and The Illegal: Construction Stormwater and Water Quality in Maryland – What You Can Do to Help Protect The Chesapeake Bay Watershed," February 29, 2008. University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD. Hosted by The University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic and Waterkeepers Chesapeake with funding from the Ward Kershaw Environmental Symposium Fund.

If you are interested in a training workshop for your community or a Center-led session at your conference, please contact Tiffany Wright, (410) 461-8323, tw @

The third year of the U.S. EPA Stormwater Webcast series for municipal stormwater managers has two webcasts where Center staff share our methods and experiences:

  • February 6, 2008 12-2pm ET – BMP Performance. Neely Law, PhD.
  • April 9, 2008 – 12-2pm ET - The Art & Science of Stormwater Retrofitting. Michael Novotney

For more information, and to register:

Other Resources:

CENTER TECHNICAL MEMO: The Center recently researched the economic benefits of "river-friendly" landscaping in California for both local governments and homeowners. River-friendly landscaping is a program that uses a holistic approach to landscaping that works in harmony with the natural conditions of a watershed to foster soil health, conserve water, and prevent pollution. The goal of the document was to find California-focused examples that demonstrate that natural landscaping saves money over conventional landscaping with turf. The Dry Creek Conservancy used the information to supplement homeowner education and outreach on the River-Friendly Landscaping program. To download this brief technical memo:

WEBSITE: The Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network (EBM Tools Network) is a voluntary alliance of tool users, developers, and training providers to promote awareness, development, and effective use of technology tools that can help plan for and implement Ecosystem-Based Management in coastal and marine environments and their watersheds.  EBM is an innovative management approach that considers entire ecosystems, including humans and the environment. Recently, the Center joined the network and added our Watershed Treatment Model to their already extensive collection of technical tools.

GRANT OPPORTUNITY: The National Association of Counties (NACo), in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Community-Based Restoration Program, is pleased to announce the second year of funding for the Coastal Counties Restoration Initiative (CCRI).  The initiative provides financial assistance on a competitive basis to innovative, high quality county-led or supported projects.  In 2008, CCRI will provide $500,000 in grants to improve stream, river, estuarine and other important marine habitats. A priority area for CCRI is the removal of fish passage barriers in coastal streams and rivers.  Grants will range from $50,000-$100,000, based upon need. The deadline for applications is March 24, 202-942-4246

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: NACo also has received new grant funding from EPA's Watershed Protection Division, and with it will provide new information, training and tools to help counties understand the EPA’s TMDL Program and the multiple steps that can be taken to protect water quality. In addition, training opportunities will be offered at NACo conferences and in conjunction with state association meetings. The trainings will be in-depth, flexible and geared to state and regional specific needs. If you know of county best practices related to TMDLs or other water quality issues or are interested in the state-specific training sessions, contact Abby Friedman, Program Director, at  or 202/942-4225.

REPORT: Policy Instruments to promote the uptake of Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD) Find out what our colleagues are up to Down Under! From the University of Auckland, the Auckland Regional Council, and the Christchurch City Council, comes a report that provides an overview of a variety of policy mechanisms for LIUDD (yes, they've put forth many new acronyms!). It is intended to act as a starting point for discussion for Councils across New Zealand who are starting to think more creatively about their policies and processes in an aim to achieve more innovative approaches particularly with urban development and stormwater design. It will be posted soon to the LIUDD site (, but in the meantime can be accessed from ours:

WEBCAST: "Green Infrastructure: Financing and Local Strategies" January 29, 2008, 3:00-4:30pm ET, will highlight ways local governments can implement and finance green infrastructure strategies. Organized by the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals (NALGEP) Free, but registration required:


CONFERENCE: 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference, February 7-9, 2008. Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, D.C. Organized by the Local Government Commission

CONFERENCE: Environmental Connection ‘08, February 18-21, 2008. Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando, FL. Organized by the International Erosion Control Association

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: deadline April 4, 2008. 16th National Nonpoint Source (NPS) Monitoring Workshop, September 14-18, 2008. Marriott Renaissance Hotel, Columbus, OH. Organized by the STream Restoration, Ecology, & Aquatic Management Solutions (STREAMS) Project.

CONFERENCE: 100th National Planning Conference April 27–May 1, 2008. Paris and Bally's, Las Vegas, NV. Organized by the American Planning Association

CONFERENCE: World Environmental & Water Resources Congress 2008. May 12-16, 2008. Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI. Organized by the Environmental & Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

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: Sustainability 2008: Green Practices for the Water Environment. June 22-25, 2008. Gaylord National on the Potomac, National Harbor, MD. Organized by the Water Environment Federation.

CONFERENCE: 2008 AWRA Summer Specialty Conference: "Riparian Ecosystems and Buffers: Working at the Water's Edge" June 30-July 2, 2008. Founder's Inn and Spa, Virginia Beach, VA. Organized by the American Water Resources Association.

CONFERENCE: StormCon, the North American Surface Water Quality Conference & Exposition. August 3-7, 2008. Orlando World Center Marriott, Orlando, FL. Organized by StormCon.

CONFERENCE: Wetlands 2008: Wetlands and Global Climate Change September
16–18,2008. Doubletree Hotel, Portland, OR
. Organized by the Association of State Wetland Managers

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

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