Welcome to the 35th issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly electronic newsletter!
is filling up fast, so visit our Watershed Institute page, and register!
Registration is open
for the 2009 Watershed Institute!
the CWP staff in Columbia, South Carolina for an intensive, interesting, and
interactive four-day learning experience specifically designed to help
watershed professionals learn to:
- Utilize field and desktop methods
to complete a watershed plan from beginning to end
- Interpret real data and
integrate findings into a watershed plan
- Apply practical methods in
watershed professions, including specific project investigations, such as
urban forestry and wetland assessments
September 22-25, 2009
Clarion Hotel Downtown
had some recent staff changes, welcoming new staff and saying a sad farewell as
other staff move on to new opportunities.
Tiffany Wright, former Watershed Analyst and
manual killer, is now restoring watersheds in the City of Bowie, Maryland as the
City's Watershed Manager. New mom, Lauren Lasher,
is a full time mother to her beautiful twins, Caleb and Madeleine. Native Chicagoan, Mike Novotney, is
headed back to the windy city to spread the watershed message as a Project
Manager at Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers.
Best of luck
pleased to announce three new additions to our staff, a watershed manager,
watershed technician and a summer intern.
Seipp, our new Watershed Manager, knows how to get restoration
projects implemented, based on his experience while working with the Potomac
has a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resource Management from Virginia
joined the Center as a Watershed Technician after a very productive internship
with the Center this past Spring. Cecilia has a Bachelor of Science in Geography
and Environmental Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Intern, Hyunjin Kim, knows a raster
from a vector file. She is working
towards her 2nd Masters in GIS at the University of Maryland
Something Borrowed, Something Blue...
to Water Resources Engineer Kelly Collins on her recent nuptials to Nick
It's a Girl!
Executive Director Hye Yeong Kwon
and family on her second daughter, Isabelle, born May 19, 2009.
Flexing the Infiltration Muscle:
What's the Role of ET?
With the previous edition of Runoff
Rundown, we introduced the "Runoff Ramblings" series as a way to stimulate
thought in the watershed and stormwater community and get some feedback from
our colleagues. This installment of
Runoff Ramblings deals with the very timely topic of stormwater infiltration
standards and the neglected role of ET (evapotranspiration, not
your state or locality flexed its "Infiltration Muscle?" This seems to be a popular trend among
stormwater agencies, with an "infiltrate as much as possible wherever possible"
agencies have translated this concept into real regulations that require the
infiltration of certain volumes of water at each development or redevelopment
site (e.g., volume of the 1-year or 2-year storm, post-development to
pre-development). For some, this is a
"back to the future" scenario with the "infiltrate first" edicts of the 1990s.
is being espoused by the Infiltration Muscle Gang, as depicted in Figure 1.
These infiltration objectives seem to be a good
idea, to better replicate the pre-development site hydrology and keep as
much water as possible from leaving the site.
However, is this level of infiltration really part of "natural"
hydrology? Is it always a good idea? Here at the Center, our staff has had some
hearty exchanges on these topics, and we thought we'd take the opportunity to
do some rambling. Read more of Runoff Ramblings
Figure 1. Some terrifying members of
the Infiltration Muscle Gang
Since we offered our June webcast, Managing Stormwater in the Age of Budget Cuts, for free, the archive of this webcast is also free and available to all at
webcast will take place in October, and will focus on the restoration of urban
and suburban watersheds through stormwater retrofitting. In particular, it will
discuss the design and implementation of stormwater retrofit practices featured
in CWP's Urban Stormwater Retrofit Practices manual, which discusses
retrofitting existing urban lands, such as parking lots, residential streets,
conveyance systems and landscaped areas. The webcast will also provide
information about the cost and pollutant removal performance of stormwater
Retrofitting - Wednesday, October 14, 12-2pm EST
Registration will open in August
For more information, please visit http://www.cwp.org/Webcasts/.
Extreme BMP Makeover
and its Extreme BMP Makeover project
partners have been quite busy over the last few months. On June 26th, we presented
findings from last year's stormwater BMP performance study to a crowd of
stormwater staff from over 10 different localities in Virginia's
James River watershed, many of whom participated
in the study. The primary feature of
this study was a performance survey of nearly 200 stormwater BMP facilities in
urban areas throughout the James River
watershed. BMP types surveyed included
bioretention cells, permeable pavers, constructed wetlands, detention and
retention ponds, infiltration trenches, swales, and more. At each BMP site, field teams looked for:
indicators of erosion, clogging, and structural problems at the inlets and
outlets; conditions directly downstream of the BMP; health of vegetative cover;
signs of improper flow paths of water; maintenance issues; interesting design
features; and more. Our recently completed technical report describes the
survey results and provides recommendations regarding:
- BMP design issues -
geometry, pre-treatment mechanisms, soil media, etc.
- BMP construction issues
- grading, sizing of BMP, elevation issues, etc.
- BMP maintenance issues -
sediment deposition, vegetation health, etc.
- Programmatic issues - plan review process,
inspections of BMPs, and more.
technical report is available here, on the Center's website.
haven't heard about it already, the Extreme
BMP Makeover is a three-year endeavor to aggressively improve the pollutant
reduction achieved by stormwater management practices serving development in
the James River watershed. This initiative involves a broad partnership
between the Center, James River Association, Hampton Roads Planning District
Commission, Chesapeake Stormwater Network, Virginia Department of Conservation
and Recreation (DCR), and nearly a dozen localities in the James
River watershed. Major
funding for this project comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Altria.
project has been coordinated with ongoing efforts to update Virginia's stormwater regulations and
stormwater management handbook. In the
past two years, the Center and the Chesapeake Stormwater Network have
collaborated with VA DCR and the American Society of Civil Engineers to conduct
eleven site design charettes across the state, many of them within the James River watershed.
During these charettes, stormwater design practitioners used
real-world site plans to test out the new proposed stormwater management criteria
which limit phosphorus loads from new development to 0.28 lbs. per year. These charette workshops have enabled
stormwater practitioners to practice developing stormwater design plans using
on-site stormwater practices, such as bioretention cells and swales, and runoff
reduction techniques such as downspout disconnection and open space
conservation. The feedback provided by
the more than 400 participants of these workshops will help refine the new
state-wide stormwater management criteria.
the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, and several other partners have also worked over the past few months to produce new draft design specifications for
fourteen different stormwater BMPs, emphasizing runoff reduction and enhanced
pollutant removal. These specifications
will be presented to VA DCR this summer for consideration for use in the state's
new stormwater management handbook.
to view draft versions of these specifications.
the beginning of our third and final year of the Extreme BMP Makeover. Among
other activities, during this next year we hope to accomplish the following:
- Help communities in the James River watershed adjust to new
- Work with several James River watershed communities to develop innovative
stormwater BMP demonstration sites;
- Explore possibilities for a
watershed-wide or state-wide BMP monitoring consortium; and
- Conduct a Chesapeake Bay-wide
Stormwater Institute in the James
Middle photo: Cattail monocultures
were found in many constructed wetlands
Bottom photo: Evaluating a parking
lot dry swale
What We're Working On
Retrofit Plan for the Anchorage
The Anchorage Canal
is the northernmost canal in South
Bethany, DE and
connects to Little Assawoman Bay. Relative to other canals in South
Bethany, it has a large drainage area, about half of which may be
impervious surface. Existing studies
show that high levels of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, and sediment enter the canal
from the watershed, which produces runoff even during light rains. The Center
is working with the DE Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) and Johnson, Mirmiran
& Thompson (JMT) to identify, prioritize, and conceptually develop
pollution control measures for the drainage area. An organizational meeting was
held in May with local project partners and fieldwork is scheduled to be
conducted in August.
Lake Watershed Action Plan
is partnering with Friends of Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, MD, to
complete an action plan for the Deep Creek Lake Watershed. The lake, nestled in Maryland's Appalachian Plateau Province, is
a popular destination spot for water and mountain lovers when the summer heat
becomes unbearable. Skiers and snow
aficionados flock there in the winter to enjoy the popular Wisp Ski Resort and
ice-skating on the lake.
A total of
65 square miles, the lake has eight main tributaries, plus a dozen smaller
streams that total 110 miles of stream.
The lake itself is 11 miles long, 3,600 acres, and harbors 64 miles of
shoreline that is owned by the Maryland
Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Despite
the abundant natural beauty, the watershed suffers from numerous impairments, including mercury contamination in fish tissue, phosphorus and bacteria loading in the
tributaries, and low pH from coal and peat mining.
In May, Center
staff teamed up with numerous volunteers from Friends of Deep Creek Lake, University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program, and the Maryland DNR to
complete field work for the Action Plan. The field work included stream
assessments, neighborhood assessments, identification of retrofit
opportunities, a hotspot inventory, and collection of water and soil
samples. Field work data is currently
being analyzed and a preliminary report will be prepared by early fall.
Top photo: Volunteers assess stream conditions at a stream crossing in the Deep Creek Lake Watershed, Garrett County, MD.
Bottom photo: Volunteers assess a neighborhood in the Deep Creek Lake Watershed for potential sources of pollution and restoration opportunities.
|Bad River Watershed Association become
remember reading about our technical capacity mini-grant program in past issues
of Runoff Rundown. One of the Center's
grant recipients, the Bad River Watershed Association (BRWA) from Ashland, WI,
is taking important steps towards implementing their proposal to the Center. The BRWA's proposal has two primary elements:
1) understanding the relationship between the BRWA's volunteer-collected water
quality monitoring data, development patterns, and stream health and 2) receiving training from the Center to conduct a watershed assessment in one
selected subwatershed of the Bad
River. Since the grant award was made, the Center
and BRWA staff used the BRWA's water quality data, along with land use and
qualitative assessment information, to select the Marengo River as the
subwatershed in which to focus a watershed assessment. A Center staff person traveled to the banks
of Lake Superior to provide stream assessment training
to BRWA staff at the end of June. After
the initial reconnaissance and training, BRWA and the Center staff led
volunteers through the watershed assessment process, what BRWA has cleverly
titled, "Becoming a Stream Doctor." Next
steps include BRWA preparing a summary report of watershed conditions based on
field work findings. We wish them luck
on the process and congratulate them on their recent grant award from the
National Fish & Wildlife Federation to conduct a full-scale watershed
assessment of the Marengo River basin!
For more information about the BRWA, visit their web-site website at http://www.badriverwatershed.org/.
Above photo: Marengo River, near a water quality monitoring station.
Scalable Inventory Approach for Comprehensive Wetland Protection (aka Wetland
is developing a standard methodology that communities can use to estimate the
extent and benefits of vulnerable wetlands in their jurisdictions with input
from an expert advisory committee. The goal is for local governments to use
this process to develop an inventory that acknowledges the role of wetlands as
an important part of their community infrastructure, and to develop a plan for
protecting their most vulnerable wetlands. The inventory process involves the
following three steps:
1. Establish local government need for vulnerable wetland
2. Identify and prioritize vulnerable wetlands
3. Select regulatory and non-regulatory tools to protect
priority vulnerable wetlands
A draft of
the inventory methodology has currently been completed. On Thursday,
August 6th, 2009, the advisory committee will meet in the
Baltimore/D.C. area to discuss and further refine the methodology. The
committee is composed of approximately 20 experts representing various federal
and state agencies, as well as local governments and private consultants.
| West River Watershed Stream Corridor
and Upland Assessments
Early this year the Center conducted a stream
corridor and upland assessment in the West River
watershed. The West River and Rhode
River make up the West Rhode River watershed located near Galesville and Shady
Side in southern Maryland.
The West River Watershed is listed as impaired on Maryland's 303 (d) list for nutrients,
sediment, bacteria, biological and toxics. Our analysis identified "hotspot"
areas, which were mainly marinas, evaluated stream reaches, and examined the
residential areas. In addition, initial retrofit concept designs to improve
onsite water quality were developed. Based on these assessments, the receiving
waters will benefit from better land use practices such as updating septic
systems for nitrogen removal, providing outreach and support to local farmers,
and implementing additional pollution prevention and stormwater retrofits
within the Clean Marina program. The two retrofit sites with the highest
potential to treat stormwater runoff effectively and promote community
awareness were further investigated to guide their construction and
installation. The Center plans to build on these initial findings during the
future Rhode River
watershed assessment and will produce a West Rhode River watershed plan in cooperation with
the Riverkeeper and community stakeholders.
Above photo: West River Marina
Charm City Welcomes National River Rally
This years River
Rally rolled into Baltimore's Inner Harbor
May 28-31 with many Center staff in attendance.
The Center and partners were excited to lead five sessions that
showcased ongoing local urban Baltimore
watershed initiatives. Session partners
included the Herring Run Watershed Association, Jones Falls Watershed
Association, City of Baltimore, and Frederick County staff. Center sessions included:
The Downlow on Downspout
Discharges - Finding and Fixing Them
263: Science and Watershed Restoration Collide
- Retrofitting in Pavement Paradise
Where We're Speaking
Laurel Woodworth will be making a presentation about
watershed protection for the Lake Gaston Association in Littleton, NC
on July 27th.
Woodworth will be conducting a Unified Stream Assessment workshop at the annual
Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Districts employee training event on
staff will be attending StormCon annual conference in Anaheim, CA
from August 16 - 20th:
David Hirschman and Laurel Woodworth are teaming with
Biohabitats, Inc. for a pre-conference workshop entitled, "The Art and Science
of Stormwater Retrofitting".
David and Laurel will also be making a presentation about
the Extreme BMP Makeover's 200-stormwater-BMP survey results. Kelly Collins will be presenting, "A South Carolina
Case Study: Developing a Comprehensive Management Plan for Crane Creek."
Center for Watershed Protection 2009 Watershed Institute
CWP staff will be presenting everything we know (almost) about watershed
planning, protection, and restoration at the 2009 Watershed Institute in Columbia,
South Carolina on September 22-25,
Interested in a Center workshop?
If you are interested in a training workshop for your community or
requesting a Center-led session at your conference, please contact Laurel Woodworth, (434) 293-5793, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA Green Infrastructure Publications
EPA developed a series of documents to help local officials implement green
infrastructure in their communities. Each handbook cover issues such as
financing, operation and maintenance, incentives, designs, codes &
ordinances, and a variety of other subjects. The handbook documents are
intended to serve as "how to" manuals on these topics, written
primarily from the standpoint of municipal implementation. http://cfpub2.epa.gov/npdes/greeninfrastructure/munichandbook.cfm
NACo Annual Conference and Exposition July 24-28, 2009. Gaylord Opryland Resort
& Convention Center, Nashville/Davidson County, TN. Organized by the
National Association of Counties (NACo). http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Annual&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=80&ContentID=24563
CONFERENCE: International Association of Hydraulic Engineering & Research Congress
- Water Engineering for a Sustainable Environment August 9-14, 2009. Hyatt Regency, Vancouver, BC.
Organized by the IAHR Congress. http://content.asce.org/conferences/iahr09/index.html
StormCon '09 - the North American Surface Water Quality Conference &
Exposition August 16-20, 2009. Anaheim
CA. Organized by StormCon. http://www.stormcon.com/conference.shtm
Forests and Water in a Changing Environment September
14-16, 2009. The Brownstone Hotel, Raleigh,
NC. Organized by the Southern Global
Change Program. http://www.sgcp.ncsu.edu:8080
Estuaries and Coasts in a Changing World November 1-5, 2009. Oregon Convention Center,
Organized by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. http://www.sgmeet.com/cerf2009/default.htm
CONFERENCE: CASQA Stormwater Conference: Stormwater Management:
Challenges and Solutions November 2-4, 2009. Hilton
San Diego Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA.
Organized by California
Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA). http://stormwaterconference.com/
CONFERENCE: 10th National Conference on Science,
Policy, and the Environment - The New Green Economy January 20-22, 2010. Ronald Reagan
Building and International Trade Center, Washington,
DC. Organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment. http://ncseonline.org/conference/greeneconomy/cms.cfm?id=2924
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS
due August 12, 2009: 2010 International Low Impact Development (LID)
Conference April 11-14, 2010.
Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, San
Francisco, CA. Organized by ASCE and EWRI. http://content.asce.org/conferences/lid10/call.html
Runoff Rundown Team: Julie Tasillo, editor; Greg Hoffmann, Kathy Proebstle. Contributions from Center staff.