Welcome to the 37th issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly electronic newsletter!
From the Rooftop to the Bay: Implementing Stormwater Management Strategies in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
March 9-11, 2010 (Registration deadline is February 5, 2010)
Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton, VA

This will be an intensive, interactive three-day learning experience specifically designed to help public and private sector stormwater professionals:

  • Strengthen design, construction, and maintenance skills for a wide range of innovative stormwater practices;
  • Understand and apply a new generation of stormwater regulations in the Chesapeake Bay states;
  • Improve municipal NPDES stormwater programs and performance;
  • Exchange ideas with other stormwater professionals.
Note: Day 1 (Tuesday) of the workshop will have special sessions, at a discounted rate, for local elected officials with an interest in policies for good stormwater management.

Registration deadline is Feb. 5, 2010.

Registration limited to 150 participants, so register now!
Participants may attend all three days of the workshop (encouraged!) or Tuesday only, or Wednesday and Thursday together. Wednesday and Thursday are a package.

Visit www.cwp.org for more information and registration instructions.

Runoff Ramblings: The Best Responses of 2009

We thought it fitting to start a new year of Ramblings with a recap of the issues and thoughtful responses we received on the 2009 topics. In some cases, we have excerpted some of the more intriguing responses below, but have veiled the identities of the authors. For each topic we have also provided a "prognosis for 2010 and beyond" as these topics continue to be discussed and debated within the watershed and stormwater communities. (click on the links to read more) The three topics include:
1. Talking & Trading Trash: Setting up Market-based Pollutant Trading Programs

2. Smackdown With The Infiltration Muscle Gang: Considering the Role of Evapotranspiration (ET) in Infiltration Requirements

3. Is Volume the Real Pollutant: Developing Compliance Tools to Account for Volume Reduction in Stormwater BMPs
We want to thank all of the readers out there who responded with comments to out 2009 Ramblings. Please continue to do so. Also, let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to see addressed in 2010 (or contribute as a guest Rambler). Please respond to rambler@cwp.org.
May your 2010 be inspired with new ideas, exciting initiatives, and scintillating conversations with your watershed and stormwater colleagues!
What We're Working On

West/Rhode Riverkeeper
Last year the Center worked with the West/Rhode Riverkeeper to conduct a stream corridor and upland assessment in the West River watershed.  As 2009 closes out and 2010 begins, the Center staff is once again working with this partner in the Rhode River Watershed, which is listed as impaired on Maryland's 303 (d) list for nutrients, sediments, biological, bacteria, and toxics.  In December, Center staff along with the West/Rhode Riverkeeper, and local volunteers assessed stream segments throughout the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and surrounding area. Field teams also investigated neighborhoods and the Mayo wastewater treatment plant for methods to reduce nutrients and sediments entering the Bay.  The Center is now in the process of developing stormwater retrofits for Camp Letts (YMCA), following up on "hot spots", and completing the remaining field work.  The West and Rhode River Assessments will provide the West/Rhode Riverkeeper with a roadmap to reducing land based sources of pollution.  Already the group is implementing projects from the West River assessment and it won't be long before the Riverkeeper and the Rhode Watershed community has a new list of projects to implement.

What We're Starting

Octoraro Watershed Assessment

The Center is looking forward to starting work with the Octoraro Watershed Association (OWA) in Cecil County Maryland, to carry out their Chesapeake Bay Trust grant for a watershed assessment and stormwater retrofit investigation. The assessment will include streams and upland areas of the Stone Run subwatershed of the Octoraro River.  OWA has been conducting continuous water quality monitoring (every two weeks) since 2005 and the data they have been gathering indicates that Stone Run is the tributary with the biggest challenges. OWA has contracted with the Center to help pinpoint the source(s) of the nutrients. Doing so will enable OWA to engage the local community in restoration and protection projects to improve the water quality and habitat of Stone Run, and to reduce stormwater runoff, which has been a significant problem for the town of Rising Sun in recent years.


Upper Choptank Watershed Plan

We are also excited to start work on a watershed plan for the Upper Choptank Watershed in Maryland. The Center is working closely with Caroline County, University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension, and the Choptank Riverkeeper to craft a watershed plan for the Upper Choptank that will meet EPA's A-I criteria. Creating a plan that meets these criteria will allow Caroline County and its partners to apply to larger funding sources to implement water quality improvement projects. The County and the Riverkeeper are very interested in project implementation and the plan will help identify those projects and efforts that will result in meeting water quality goals. 


Check future issues of Runoff Rundown for updates as we conduct our fieldwork and make recommendations.

What We're Wrapping Up

Town of Leesburg, VA: Better Site Design Workshop
Over 60 engineers, planners, developers and planning commissioners participated in a ½ day Better Site Design (BSD) workshop held by the Center and the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) for the Town of Leesburg in November 2009. Council Member David Butler also participated and provided opening remarks conveying a spirit of cooperation and willingness to learn how to implement practices that better protect our environment while still achieving economically viable development. The workshop, designed for the Town of Leesburg, also attracted surrounding jurisdictions with representatives from Loudoun and Fauquier Counties and the Towns of Purcellville and Berryville. 
The workshop was supported by a grant received by PEC from the Fairfax Water Supply Stakeholder Outreach Program and the Town of Leesburg. The Tuscarora Creek is a headwater catchment to Goose Creek; an important source for the Fairfax Water intake near the Loudoun County border and other water users along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. The goal of the workshop was to encourage and empower town staff to incorporate BSD principles into local codes and ordinances.
PEC and the Center have been working in partnership for nearly 10 years to identify and address areas of concern in the Goose Creek watershed. For example, a 2002 vulnerability analysis of Goose Creek classified its headwaters, Tuscarora Creek, as an impacted watershed that would likely be further degraded by future development. A more detailed assessment of Tuscarora Creek in 2007 identified specific sources of impairment and recommendations to address them, which included changes to local codes and ordinances. The Leesburg Town Council then established the Leesburg Watershed Committee to begin implementing the recommendations. The committee - which includes representatives from the community, area businesses, development industry, environmental organizations, schools, and town government - continues to meet monthly and now works to protect all streams within the town.
The workshop was organized to provide participants an opportunity to learn about the principles of BSD and apply techniques to achieve BSD through a hands-on exercise using a local case study. The workshop focused on set of BSD principles, reviewed and critiqued existing Town codes and completed a re-design exercise. Center staff Julie Schneider led the workshop with support from Neely Law and PEC field officer, Gem Bingol. The re-design exercise generated the most enthusiasm from participants as they were able to roll up their sleeves and develop a site from scratch. Planning Commissioners who typically get to see more final products found this exercise particularly useful as it demonstrated the range of opportunities available for alternative site design practices. Discussions during the workshop emphasized the need for political will and cooperation with the community to makes these types of development more common place. In the end, design from eight groups showcased reduced parking, conservation areas and bioretention among other practices incorporated into the site, and, most importantly,no code changes were required.
The Center is currently seeking funding opportunities to integrate new research and practices into the Better Site Design Manual to expand on its current foundation of best practices for site design. 
Contact Laurel Woodworth at the Center if you would like a workshop in your community.

Richland County, SC: Site Planning Roundtable Wrap-up
Since the project kick-off meeting last spring, Center staff led discussions with the Roundtable participants to analyze the existing County development codes and draft proposed stormwater regulations to develop a set of recommended changes to the code that minimize impervious cover, conserve natural areas and promote distributed stormwater management.  As part of this effort, participants traveled to North Charleston, SC to visit the Oak Terrace Preserve Development. The development provided examples of tree preservation, reduced street pavement, and innovative stormwater management through vegetated swales, pervious pavement and bioretention. The final set of Richland County code recommendations were finalized in early fall 2009 culminating in the Richland County Site Planning Roundtable Consensus Document.
The document was adopted by the Richland County Council in November and a subcommittee was formed to move forward with implementation of the recommendations. A recent article about the process was included in the local paper, The State.
CWP Webcasts

The Center had the privilege of hosting more than 500 registrants for our 2009 webcasts. By doing so, we helped reduce environmental impacts by eliminating more than 600,000 lbs of carbon emissions through reduced travel, saving more than 35,000 gallons of gasoline! We will again be hosting our own webcast series beginning in April 2010.


Bioretention Design, Installation, and Maintenance: April 21, 2010
Bioretention has been the darling of the stormwater trade for a decade or more.  In the real world of BMP design, installation, and maintenance, there have been as many (or more) poor examples as grand successes.  What can we learn from these experiences, and what does the rapidly-expanding corpus of bioretention research have to teach us about enhancing pollutant removal and runoff volume reduction? This webcast will cover practical design, installation, and maintenance issues with bioretention, and will provide updated and essential design tools for the stormwater professional. This webcast is jointly hosted with the Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership (CBSTP). See below for more information on the CBSTP.

If you have questions regarding our webcasts, email webcast@cwp.org.
Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership

We are pleased to announce the Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership (CBSTP)! The Partnership was created to deliver targeted training on new tools and practices to improve the quality of stormwater runoff in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. In  addition to the Center, partners include State stormwater agencies, statewide professional associations, and master stormwater practitioners; and is coordinated by the Chesapeake Stormwater Network. The partnership is supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

The Partnership will deliver free or low cost training to thousands of Bay watershed designers and reviewers, through (1) webcasts (2) one-day design workshops (3) intensive "master" stormwater design seminars (4) on-site technical assistance by Stormwater Circuit Riders, and (5) self guiding web-based learning modules.

This training is being offered through three tiers (Basic, Advanced, and Master) that reflect an increasing level of knowledge and understanding of stormwater management and the issues of improving the quality of stormwater runoff.

The website (www.CBSTP.org) is expected to launch in the first week of February. Check it out for the latest information.

The USDA has created a publicly available database that provides:
1) measured nutrient load and concentration data and corresponding watershed characteristics from numerous field-scale studies,
2) readily accessible, easily queried information to support water quality management, modeling, and future research design,and
3) a platform allowing user input of additional project-specific data

The primary objective of this effort was to compile measured annual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)load and concentration data representing field-scale transport from agricultural and forest (new September 2009) land uses.

Online Document Search: www.osun.org This is a relatively new search engine that seeks out documents with extensions .pdf, .doc and .ppt.

Environmental Working Group (EWG) specializes in providing useful resources to consumers while simultaneously pushing for national policy change. See the National Drinking Water Database, a drinking water quality analysis of almost 20 million records obtained from state water officials.


After four years of development and public feedback, the Initiative has released the nation's first rating system for sustainable landscapes. It developed criteria for sustainable land practices that will enable built landscapes to support natural ecological functions by protecting existing ecosystems and regenerating ecological capacity where it has been lost. This report focuses on measuring and rewarding a project that protects, restores and regenerates ecosystem services - benefits provided by natural ecosystems such as cleaning air and water, climate regulation and human health benefits.

Test and help refine this rating system by applying to be a Pilot Project. Applications due Feb. 15, 2010.

EPA's Adopt Your Watershed program challenges you to serve your community by taking part in activities to protect and restore your local watershed. For more information on what you can do to make a difference in your watershed.


donates 1% of all "hydration vessel" sales to a select group of non-profits that focus on water-related issues. Their goal is not only to provide much-needed funds to these organizations, but to engage customers on issues such as recycling, watershed protection and the global water crisis. The color you choose designates the environmental issue to which your contribution will be made.
Where We're Speaking

Middle James Roundtable Annual Meeting
March 25, 2010. Farmville, VA
Speaking: Laurel Woodworth

AWRA 2010 Spring Specialty Conference - GIS and Water Resources VI; Leaf-Out Analysis as a GIS Tool in Urban Watershed Forestry March 29-31, 2010. Orlando, FL
Speaking: Lisa Fraley-McNeal

2010 International Low Impact Development (LID) Conference April 11 - 14, 2010.
Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, San Francisco, CA. Organized by ASCE and EWRI.
Speaking: Kelly Collins & Laurel Woodworth

Nonpoint Source Pollution Conference May 17-19, 2010. Plymouth, MA
Speaking: Sadie Drescher

Coastal States Society's 22nd International Conference, Shifting Shorelines: Adapting to the Future May 17-19. Wilmington, NC
Speaking: Sadie Drescher

River Rally 2010 May 21-24, 2010. Snowbird, UT. Organized by River Network.
Speaking: Greg Hoffmann

Many Paths, One Destination: From Knowledge to Action
February 4-7, 2010. Rocky Gap Lodge, Rocky Gap, MD. Organized by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.
15th Water Conservation & Xeriscape Conference February 25-26, 2010. Albuquerque Marriott Hotel, Albuquerque, NM. Organized by the Xeriscape Council of NM.

2010 National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit and 2010 Ground Water Protection Council Spring Meeting April 11-15, 2010. The Westin Tabor Center, Denver, CO. The event seeks to integrate cutting-edge science with the leading edge of practice and will focus on the theme "Groundwater for a Thirsty World."

American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
April 14-18, 2010. Marriot Wardman Park Hotel and Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C. In addition to many scholarly presentations, the 2010 Meeting will feature opportunities for interactions with government agencies and will include keynote speakers from nonprofit groups and other influential nongovernmental organizations located in the nation's capital.
August 1 - 5, 2010, San Antonio, TX. JW Marriott San Antonio
Hill Country Resort & Spa. This is touted as the "World's Largest Stormwater Pollution Prevention Conference". StormCon® is the premier annual event that to attend to stay on top of the rapidly-evolving disciplines that manage, regulate, and research stormwater.

2010 Watershed Management Conference: Innovations in Watershed Management Under Land Use and Climate Change August 23-27, 2010. Lake Monona in Madison, WI. On behalf of Steering Committee and the American Society of Civil Engineers' Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI), we take great pleasure in inviting you to the This conference is an industry event that you will not want to miss!
This specialty conference will focus on watershed management.
Runoff Rundown Team: Karen Cappiella, Editor; Bridget Edwards; and contributions from Center staff
Center for Watershed Protection
In This Issue
Runoff Ramblings
What We're Working On
What We're Starting
What We're Wrapping Up
CWP Webcasts
Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Training Partnership
Upcoming Conferences