Runoff Rundown
Winter 2012
Issue #45
In This Issue
Runoff Ramblings: Before you Join the Green Infrastructure Bandwagon
Wow, That's a Lot of Retrofits!
The Plan for a Healthy Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland
Downspout Disconnection Study Shows Great Potential for Runoff Reduction on Small Urban Lawns
Trainings and Conferences
Cool Links
Published by:
CWP for email





Welcome to the Winter 2012 issue of Runoff Rundown, the Center for Watershed Protection's quarterly e-newsletter dedicated to watershed and stormwater management news and updates.


This issue provides project updates, announcements from the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPs) and information about trainings, conferences and cool links.


Center Christmas 2011 Photo 

Center staff Christmas hike at Patapsco State Park  


Click here to view this newsletter on the web.

Runoff Ramblings: Before You Join the Green Infrastructure Bandwagon

By Hye Yeong Kwon, Center for Watershed Protection 


Before "Green Infrastructure," there was low impact design, environmentally sensitive site design, conservation design, smart growth, and new urbanism. These concepts are certainly not all synonymous with each other, but they do share similar tenets of reduced environmental impacts. And like a good conservationist that agrees with many of these tenets, I practice many of these things personally and professionally, and in general, hug a tree whenever I can. But the one thing I haven't done is join the "Green Infrastructure as Silver Bullet" bandwagon. Here is why.


Recently, I attended a couple conferences dedicated to Green Infrastructure. While many of the presentations were good, others left me wondering if we were all singing from the same page and raised more questions than they provided answers. For example, are we all defining Green Infrastructure the same way? What costs are we referring to when we claim that Green Infrastructure is lower cost than traditional infrastructure? What can we do about getting us all on the same page about Green Infrastructure?


The different definitions of Green Infrastructure have been at the center of this morass. The traditional use of the term by the conservation planning community refers to the network of natural lands across the landscape - forests, wetlands, stream corridors, grasslands - that work together as a whole to provide ecological benefits. More recently, EPA defined green infrastructure as "an approach to wet weather management that is cost-effective, sustainable, and environmentally friendly" (retrieved on December 27, 2011 from ( This broad definition includes both landscape-scale natural features and site-scale practices ranging from reduction of impervious cover to stormwater best management practices (BMPs), such as bioretention and stormwater wetlands, and everything in between.


In addition to the widely divergent definitions of Green Infrastructure, there are numerous ways to look at cost data. The current mantra on Green Infrastructure seems to be "lower cost than traditional practices," but the reality is that it depends on what definition is being used and what costs are being compared. Here are just a few examples:


Costs of Green Infrastructure site design versus "conventional" design at new development sites

Many studies show that site designs utilizing certain Green Infrastructure practices (such as narrower streets, reduced clearing and grading, and open channels for roadside drainage) can be cheaper than conventional designs that use mass clearing, curb and gutter and extensive paving (MacMullan and Reich, 2007; Conservation Research Institute, 2005). As borne out in various case studies, this can certainly be true when the practices are well designed and executed and are allowed to replace (or at least reduce the number and size of) conventional practices. However, many of these practices are still not permitted in local codes or credited for their stormwater treatment benefits. The added cost to the developer that results from the extra time required to obtain special exceptions and permits can be significant (MacMullan and Reich, 2007).


Even where Green Infrastructure site designs are consistently found to be more cost effective than conventional site designs, it is the rare community that will be able to use Green Infrastructure at new development sites to meet all the requirements of TMDLs, MS4 permits and other water quality mandates. Many of these urban areas are already built out and were developed prior to stormwater management requirements. Therefore, retrofitting of existing urban areas will be necessary to meet the required water quality standards. But to what extent? And at what cost?


Costs of Green Infrastructure BMPs for retrofit situations and redevelopment sites versus the "status quo"

This one is a bit tricky. The use of Green Infrastructure BMPs (such as bioretention, swales, and infiltration) in retrofit situations is typically much more expensive than installing the same practices in a new development situation simply because of existing site constraints such as utilities or poor soils (see costs in King and Hagan, 2001). However, there is also no "conventional" option for comparison - if these sites are not retrofitted, they will remain as-is with no associated costs. In addition, while some communities may have a stormwater utility or other source of funding to pay for retrofits, there is typically a limit to how much land can feasibly be retrofitted. A review of data from retrofit inventories conducted by the Center over the past few years reveals that, of the area assessed, only about 6% to 24% could feasibility be treated with retrofits, with the higher end of the range reflecting more rural conditions.


Installing Green Infrastructure BMPs on redevelopment sites is certainly a viable option for communities to realize water quality improvements and shifts the financial burden from the jurisdiction to the developer. The costs of using Green Infrastructure BMPs on redevelopment sites have not been well studied. Some research suggests the cost may be higher to use these practices on redevelopment sites compared to installing them in new development situations or using more traditional BMPs on redevelopment sites (MacMullan and Reich, 2007). However, actually fostering redevelopment in our urban areas can be difficult. For example, the City of Baltimore's Comprehensive Plan assumes an addition of 10,000 households over a six year period. Based on an average lot size and site impervious cover, this equates to treating less than 0.5% of the total impervious cover in the City. At this rate, it would take many years to install enough Green Infrastructure practices to meet the City's MS4 permit requirement to retrofit 20% of its untreated impervious cover.


Costs of Green Infrastructure versus "gray infrastructure" for volume reduction in CSO communities

Numerous cities with combined sewer systems have documented that the use of Green Infrastructure practices to reduce runoff volume is cost-competitive with conventional stormwater and CSO controls (Kloss and Calarusse, 2006; MacMullan and Reich, 2007). In most cases, these cost studies have also factored in the additional social and economic benefits provided by Green Infrastructure (e.g., cleaner air, increased property values, improved aesthetics) that are not provided by gray infrastructure. However, where does this leave communities with separate storm sewer systems who must meet strict water quality mandates such as TMDLs?


None of these examples justify a blanket statement that Green Infrastructure is more cost-effective than traditional stormwater strategies. The truth is that we need a lot more research into Green Infrastructure and a lot more convergence on definitions and costs as we go about the business of fully accounting for both the benefits and costs of Green Infrastructure. Research studies and statements about Green Infrastructure costs should detail the specific costs (e.g., capital costs versus life cycle costs) and benefits (e.g., pollutant removal, runoff reduction, impervious acres treated, socioeconomic benefits) being measured as well as consider what entity ultimately bears these costs. Green Infrastructure has its place and should be an important part of the solution for meeting TMDLs and other water quality goals. However, it is just one piece of the puzzle and is certainly not a "magic bullet" solution for municipalities on a limited budget.


Let us know your thoughts and ideas on this topic. Want to send us your cost data on Green Infrastructure? Email us at



Conservation Research Institute. 2005. Changing Cost Perceptions: An Analysis of Conservation Development. Prepared by Conservation Research Foundation for the Illinois Conservation Foundation and Chicago Wilderness.


King, D. and P. Hagan. 2011. Costs of Stormwater Management Practices in Maryland Counties. Technical Report Series No. TS-626-11 of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.


Kloss, C. and C. Calarusse. 2006. Rooftops to Rivers: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows. Natural Resources Defense Council. New York, NY.


MacMullan, E. and S. Reich. 2007. The Economics of Low Impact Development: A Literature Review. EcoNorthwest. Eugene, OR.

Wow, That's A Lot Of Retrofits! 

By Cecilia Lane, Chesapeake Stormwater Network 


Since 2008, the Center for Watershed Protection has been working with Arlington County, Virginia to create a county-wide stormwater retrofit inventory. The County is taking a comprehensive approach to stormwater management through their Stormwater Master Plan Update. In addition to a county-wide retrofit inventory, the Plan Update includes a storm sewer capacity study and a complete stream survey. The County's approach to meeting the Chesapeake Bay TMDL is to improve stormwater controls through new or redevelopment regulations, upgrades of existing stormwater infrastructure, incorporation of new stormwater practices where they didn't previously exist (retrofits), stream restoration, monitoring, and education and outreach. The retrofitting project will result in a large, county-wide list of potential stormwater retrofits. To date, the Center has developed retrofit inventories for 21 of the County's 36 watersheds which has resulted in a list of 600+ potential projects!

Retrofits-Fig 1

Figure 1 - Breakdown of Impervious Cover in Arlington County


Arlington County is mainly built out with 41% impervious cover and was developed prior to most present day stormwater regulations so there is a lot of opportunity to retrofit (Figure 1).  The majority of the County's impervious cover is the result of county-owned roads, which has led to a lot of street bump-out bioretention concepts. However, designing retrofits for such an urban environment where the majority of publicly-owned impervious cover is the road system has proven to be quite challenging. In addition to the usual prerequisites for retrofitting, underground utilities, tree impacts and traffic patterns all need to be taken into consideration. As an example of these feasibility challenges, of the 9,705 (primarily public) acres assessed so far, only 11% of the area was determined to be feasible to install retrofits.


One of the desired products of the retrofit assessments is to have an interactive GIS-based inventory, which would allow the County to investigate areas that are up for other improvements and easily identify potential stormwater retrofit projects at those locations that could be incorporated into the plans. Arlington has one green street constructed (Figure 2) with several other retrofits in the design process. With 600+ projects, they will be busy for years to come!

Figure 2. Constructed Green Street in Arlington County before (left) and during (right) a storm.


Images courtesy Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.


For more information about this project, contact Greg Hoffmann at

The Plan for a Healthy Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland

Bill Stack, Center for Watershed Protection


To achieve the goal of making Baltimore Harbor fishable and swimmable by 2020, the Center for Watershed Protection and Biohabitats, Inc. have developed a "Healthy Harbor Plan." A year-long study to develop the plan was funded by the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore City, Inc., a non-profit organization comprised of key property owners and businesses adjacent to Baltimore Harbor.


The plan focused on the Middle and Northwest Branches of the Harbor and its tributary streams which drain 133.5 square miles of highly urbanized sections of Baltimore City and County. The plan specifically targets the key impairments to the Harbor which include trash, bacteria, nutrients and sediment. This plan is unique in that it identifies management practices that cut across institutional boundaries to meet water quality goals. For instance, the elimination of dry weather sanitary sewage overflows (SSOs) (Figure 1) through a systematic and comprehensive illicit discharge detection and elimination program is a major component of the strategy to reduce bacteria and nutrient loadings. Also, part of this strategy includes management practices that capture and remove trash (e.g., netting systems) and gross stormwater solids (e.g., leaves) which result in quantifiable load reductions in nutrients, sediment and bacteria as well as other contaminants.  

Healthy Harbor Fig 2

Figure 1 Sanitary Sewer Overflow


The implementation of green infrastructure practices is part of a longer-term strategy that focuses on neighborhood improvement and redevelopment and involves triple bottom line cost accounting to justify the expenditure. Triple bottom line cost accounting addresses the full spectrum of community (e.g., reduction in heat island effect) and environmental benefits (e.g., carbon sequestration), which are not typically considered in stormwater/watershed cost studies.


The plan incorporates opportunities that have been identified in watershed management plans developed under City and County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits and also borrowed ideas from successful plans implemented in other parts of the country (e.g., Los Angeles). Innovative technologies for restoring water quality are also featured as recommendations for pilot projects; for instance, algal turf scrubbers and floating wetlands.


The cumulative cost to meet the 2020 capital and operating and maintenance cost is estimated to be several hundred million dollars. While this amount is high, it is less than the costs estimated to meet the City and County's new MS4 permits which are expected to go into effect early next year. The incorporation of SSO elimination, trash removal and redevelopment into the plan resulted in substantial savings over what it would cost to rely solely on municipal stormwater best management practices. The plan describes potential funding strategies including the creation of a stormwater utility, solid waste utility and a stormwater offset fee and banking system. The development of the plan included input from numerous meetings with government staff, community organizations and the business community.


While several aspects of the plan have been initiated (e.g., development of a stormwater offset and banking system), the key to implementation is the development of a sustainable funding source such as a stormwater utility. The Mayor of Baltimore announced at a kick-off ceremony for the plan that she will be introducing a proposal for a stormwater utility to the City Council in January 2012. The revenue will be used to meet MS4 requirements and several of the initiatives described in the plan.


The Healthy Harbor Plan is available at 

Downspout Disconnection Study Shows Great Potential for Runoff Reduction on Small Urban Lawns

By Neely Law, Center for Watershed Protection and  Dana Puzey, Program Manager, Blue Water Baltimore


In the field of stormwater management, research and policy have focused in more recent years on pervious land covers in addition to the traditional focus on impervious cover, which has been essential to reduce the built environment's impact on receiving waters. The concern about pervious cover, such as turfgrass, is based on its potential contribution of runoff, nutrients and pesticides to receiving waters (Garn 2002; Waschbusch et al. 1999).


Turfgrass is an extensive land cover in the United States with an estimated 40 million acres nationally (Milesi et al. 2005). In a recent report, Schueler (2010) estimated that 2.1 to 3.8 million acres, or 5.3% to 9.5%, of total Chesapeake Bay watershed area is covered in turf with approximately 75% found on residential lawns. Although studies report variable degrees to which turfgrass produces runoff (e.g. Stier and Soldat, 2011, Bierman et al. 2010, Garn 2002, Legg et al. 1997) elevated concentrations of total phosphorus in surface waters have led to restrictions on phosphorus lawn fertilizer use in several States (e.g. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and selected counties in Michigan). The characteristics of urban lawns and their management can influence the degree to which turfgrass can either mitigate or accentuate the impacts of impervious cover on aquatic resources in urban watersheds. The need to better understand the potential runoff reduction provided by urban residential lawns was the basis of a monitoring study the Center for Watershed Protection (Center) completed this Fall 2011 with Blue Water Baltimore. The goal of the study was to determine the effectiveness of downspout disconnection on small urban residential lots in the City of Baltimore, Maryland.


Downspout disconnection is a simple, low cost and low maintenance stormwater practice to reduce the amount of runoff and pollutants entering streams and eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. Downspout disconnection is an example of a low impact development, or LID, technique that may be readily adopted by homeowners. In the City of Baltimore, an assessment of the potential benefit from downspout disconnection was evaluated for areas where the benefits of this practice are uncertain due to small lot sizes, soil characteristics that limit infiltration, or a combination of both.


The Center designed a field-based experiment to simulate the capacity of urban residential lawns to infiltrate rooftop runoff. A total of fourteen single family residential lawns were assessed, of which six were selected as the final study sites. All properties were in older, established neighborhoods as opposed to new construction. A fixed, 1-inch/hour intensity rainfall event was simulated over a two-hour period for experimental purposes such that the capacity of urban lawns to reduce runoff from a 1-inch and 2-inch storm event could be evaluated. Soil texture characteristics were completed at the time of the experiment using the finger roll technique, while bulk density measurements were determined as a proxy for compaction. Runoff reduction was estimated based on the total amount of rainfall simulated and runoff generated.


Runoff reduction was observed from all six residential lawns, with each of the lawns exhibiting variable runoff behavior in regards to the timing and pattern of runoff. A summary of the study site characteristics and results is presented in Table 1. On average, runoff reduction was high for simulated rainfall events, with an average reduction of 95% for the 1-inch rainfall event and an average reduction of 90% for the 2-inch rainfall event. Two of the sites did not produce any runoff. Factors contributing to the runoff reduction included sufficient flow path length (e.g. 16 to 20 ft) from the downspout to the edge of the delineated drainage area and soil characteristics. Given the small sample size for this study, however, there is not enough data to statistically evaluate the significance of these results. The soil characterization suggests that the study sites had C soils based on bulk densities ranging from 1.2 to 1.8 g/cc and soil textures that were mostly clay loam and clay (Dunne and Leopold 1987). Additional contributing factors based on observation include the lawn's microtopography, where runoff pooled in small depressions, and low antecedent moisutre conditions.

Table 1. Summary of downspout disconnection study results.

Site ID

Bulk Density


Soil texture

Percent rock, by weight

Turf cover characteristics

Average Runoff Reduction (%)

1" rainfall

2" rainfall

Site #1


Clay loam





Site #2




Mix of weeds & turfgrass with some bare spots



Site #3




Mix of weeds and turgrass, good coverage



Site #4




Mix of weeds and turgrass, good coverage



Site #5




Zoysia grass, dense coverage



Site #6


Clay loam


weeds, minimal turfgrass present



 Overall, the study provided promising results for runoff reduction from urban lawns and the broader application of downspout disconnection in the City of Baltimore, and other highly urban watersheds. Results illustrate that older residential properties, such as those studied, have adequate space for downspout disconnection practices and the soils may effectively infiltrate targeted rainfall events. The high runoff reduction estimated was surprising given the expectation of higher bulk densities, D-type or compacted soils that would have likely resulted in less runoff reduction. Although the sample size was small, the results underpin the variability reported in turfgrass research where the interplay of numerous factors (e.g. soil type, age of lawn, slope, organic matter content, management practices) all contribute in some way to runoff . The challenge is to find a way to generalize the results, or reach a consensus amongst policy makers to define a method to credit turfgrass management practices that have a minimum impact on receiving water quality. Continued study on the runoff potential from this ever-expanding land cover type is recommended to more fully understand the behavior of turfgrass and its implications on watershed health.


Special thanks to Ian Yesilonis from the USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station for use and assistance with soil sampling equipment, Andy Miller, Suzanne Braunschweig,and Chris Swan from the University the University of Maryland Baltimore County Department of Geography and Environmental Systems for use of the lab to process soil samples. This study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


References Cited


Bierman, P. M., B. P. Horgan, C. J. Rosen, A. B. Hollman, and P. H. Pagliari. 2010. Phosphorus runoff from turfgrass as affected by phosphorus fertilization and clipping management. Journal of Environmental Quality 39:282-292


Dunne, T. and L .B. Leopold. 1987. Water in Environmental Planning. W.H. Freeman and Company.


Garn, H. S. 2002. Effects of lawn fertilizer on nutrient concentration in run-off from lakeshore lawns, Lauderdale Lakes, Wisconsin. Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4130. Middleton, Wisconsin: United States Geological Survey.


Legg, A. R. T. Bannerman, and J. Panuska. 1996. Variation in the relation of rainfall to run-off from residential lawns in Madison, Wisconsin. Water Resources Investigation Report 96-4194, Madison, WI, US Geological Survey.


Stier,J. and D. J. Soldat. 2011. Lawns as a source of nutrient runoff in urban environments. Watershed Science Bulletin, 3: 44-51


Waschbusch, R. J., W. R. Selbig, and R. T. Bannerman, R. T.(1999. Sources of phosphorus in stormwater and street dirt from two urban residential basins in Madison, WI, 1994-95. US Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4021, Madison, WI.


2012 Watershed and Stormwater Conference

SAVE THE DATE for the 2012 Watershed and Stormwater Conference sponsored by the Center for Watershed Protection and the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPs).  Join us to hear about the latest and emerging practices in watershed management through interactive educational sessions; engage, network, and discuss these topics with other practitioners, regulators, scientists, educators, and advocates; and celebrate the Center's 20 year anniversary.  The conference will be held October 8-10, 2012 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.  Stay tuned for more details!


Career Center 
With its focus on the watershed and stormwater industry, companies and professionals, the AWSPs Career Center offers its members-and the industry at large-an easy-to-use and highly targeted resource for online employment connections.

Both members and non-members can use the AWSPs Career Center to reach qualified candidates. Employers can post jobs online, search for qualified candidates based on specific job criteria, and create an online resume agent to email qualified candidates daily. They also benefit from online reporting that provides job activity statistics.


For job seekers, the AWSPs Career Center is a free service that provides access to employers and jobs in the watershed and stormwater industry. In addition to posting their resumes, job seekers can browse and view available jobs based on their criteria and save those jobs for later review if they choose. Job seekers can also create a search agent to provide email notifications of jobs that match their criteria.


As a registered employer or job seeker you also have access to the Engineering & Science Career Network (ESCN), a growing network of leading engineering and science associations. AWSPS' alliance with the ESCN increases your reach to over 13,000 resumes and over 750 job postings - giving you more control over your career advancement and a one-stop-shop to find targeted and quality candidates.


Save 20% off regular job posting price through March 15, 2012. Use Promo Code CCrt20Save.

Call for Articles
AWSPs is currently soliciting short articles (5,000 words or less) for the Fall 2012 issue of the Watershed Science Bulletin on watershed planning. Development and implementation of watershed-based plans have been a popular approach to water resources management since they were first promoted by EPA and other agencies in the late 1980s. While some plans were initially described as "dust-collectors," in time, a rapid and simple approach has been adopted by many communities conducting watershed planning, allowing more resources to be devoted to implementation of the plan recommendations. So, how well is the watershed-based approach working? With this issue of The Bulletin, we hope to elicit some research on the current status of these plans and their effectiveness in protecting water resources, and to highlight innovative watershed-based policies, tools, funding mechanisms, or new data that can assist communities developing watershed plans. 
Deadline for Submissions is April 6, 2012


Click here for the Full Solicitation  


Center 2012 Webcast Series

Our 2012 season will begin in February 2012 and we will be hosting SIX webcasts this year! Download the webcast flyer for complete information on the enter webcast series. The Center webcasts are 2 hours long and begin at 12pm Eastern time. Visit our website for more information about registration and CEUs. To purchase the Complete Webcast Series for only $714 - that's a 20% savings! click here  

Trainings and Conferences

Retrofit This - A Guide to Retrofitting the World?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12-2pm Eastern.

Cost: $149 - (registration open 12/23/11 - 2/24/12) register here 

          $139 - (early bird registration open 12/23/11 - 2/10/12) register here


Stormwater retrofitting is the art and science of inserting stormwater treatment into places where it does not exist or is currently inadequate. Increasingly stormwater retrofitting serves as a critical tool for meeting TMDL and watershed goals, with an emerging link between retrofitting and MS4 permits. But can we retrofit the world? Well, at least some of it. This webcast - part 1 of a two-part retrofit webcast mini-series -- will broaden your perspective about retrofitting. The webcast will introduce a retrofitting practice hierarchy and describe how to find, prioritize, and build the most effective retrofits. The webcast will also explore how much land area in a watershed can feasibly be retrofitted and at what cost. This information is based on dozens of retrofit studies conducted by the Center and others in urban, suburban, and rural watersheds.

US EPA SWMM5 & PCSWMM Stormwater Modeling 1 Day Advanced Workshop
February 21, 2012. Toronto, Ontario.

Designed with the experienced PCSWMM in mind, the 1-day advanced training course builds on previous PCSWMM experience to sharpen and enhance your software experience. Explore the newest PCSWMM interface, become acquainted with the enhanced state-of-the-art tools and learn tips and tricks from PCSWMM professionals to streamline your work flow.  It is highly recommended that participants have already participated in PCSWMM training or have taken the online course as the focus of this training is to progress existing skills and familiarize existing users in the latest version of PCSWMM.

Fees:  1 Day Training:  C$395 / US$395.

 All members of the Association of Watershed & Stormwater Professionals will receive a special 15% discount off the conference & workshop. 

International Conference on Stormwater and Urban Water Systems Modeling

February 22-23, 2012. Toronto, Ontario. 

The annual International Conference on Stormwater and Urban Water Systems Modeling is a forum for professionals from across North America and overseas to exchange ideas and experience on current practices and emerging technologies. This forum is for engineers, scientists, modelers and administrators involved in water pollution control and water systems design and analysis. The conference is sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers Urban Water Resources Research Council, the American Water Resources Association, the US EPA, the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy, the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, and Conservation Ontario. It generates a 500 page hard-cover book of the proceedings which is extensively referenced, edited and indexed.  

Fees:   2 Day Conference:   C$395 / US$395     

All members of the Association of Watershed & Stormwater Professionals will receive a special 15% discount off the conference & workshop.      

Wisconsin Wetlands Association 17th Annual Conference, Urban Wetlands

February 22 - 23, 2012 Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Wetlands Association will convene members of the regional wetland community in Lake Geneva, WI to discuss the latest in wetland science, management, restoration, and protection issues around the conference theme, Urban Wetlands. This 2-day conference, from February 22 - 23, 2012, will include topical oral sessions; a poster session; working groups; a banquet with speaker; and wetland field trips to Lake Geneva-area wetlands. Following more than a decade-long tradition, we anticipate that this year's conference will contribute to a growing regional collaboration for protecting and conserving Wisconsin's wetlands.  

More information can be found on the conference website: 


Engineering Green 2012    

March 6, 2012, Baltimore, MD

Engineering Green 2012 is an event for civil engineers, landscape architects, property owners, developers, and others interested in the engineering design of a sustainable site.  This one day conference will showcase projects in the commercial and government sectors primarily in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (PA, VA, DE & MD).  The day will include four sessions (with 2-3 tracks to choose from) in which presenters will give an in-depth look at project design, implementation, and lessons learned.  The event will also include a keynote address, breakfast and lunch, and a chance to put your mind together with other professionals working in similar areas and dealing with similar issues to come up with practical solutions.  The conference will have four presentation sessions with 2-3 presentations in each session. The program schedule is detailed in forms below.


Click here for more information:


2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference & Exposition

March 18-21, 2012, Portland, OR

Hosted by the American Water Works Association, the 2012 Sustainable Water Management Conference will be a true sustainability conference focused on water resources integration. The conference will address a wide range of topics concerning sustainable water management, including managing water resources and the environment, water conservation, sustainable utilities and infrastructure, urban planning and design, and community sustainability.   


National Watershed Quality Monitoring Council's 8thNational Monitoring Conference

April 30 - May 4, 2012, Portland, Oregon

This national forum provides an exceptional opportunity for federal, state, local, tribal, volunteer, academic, private, and other water stakeholders to exchange information and technology related to water monitoring, assessment, research, protection, restoration, and management, as well as to develop new skills and professional networks.    


Using WinSLAMM v.10 Meeting Urban Stormwater Management Goals
April 12 - 13, 2012, Madison, Wisconsin
April 23-24, 2012, Baltimore, Maryland

Learn how to use the new, enhanced version of the Source Loading and Management Model (WinSLAMM) to
  • Meet TMDL, LID, and MS4 requirements
  • Reduce pollution load
  • Control runoff volume

Click here for complete information 

All members of the Association of Watershed & Stormwater Professionals receive a special $100 off the conference.    


SWCS Annual Conference: Choosing Conservation: Considering Ecology, Economics, and Ethics

July 22-25, 2012, Fort Worth, TX

The 67th International Soil and Water Conservation Society Annual Conference will be held in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference sessions will explore recent developments in the science and art of natural resource conservation and environmental management on working land.  

Cool Links
Cool Links  "Cool Links" provides information on some new or new-found resources that are helpful to watershed managers and stormwater professionals 


The Stream Health and Runoff Potential (SHARP) Model for Assessing Stream Health in the Chesapeake Bay Basin

The Stream Health and Runoff Potential (SHARP) model was designed to show where and by how much watersheds are liable to be impaired by high concentrations of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP) and total suspended sediment (TSS) within the Chesapeake Bay Basin. The model's basis is statistical, relating land cover percentages to concentrations of these three constituents. SHARP is not meant to compete with more comprehensive watershed models such as the SPARROW model or the GWLF model. Instead SHARP allows the user to quickly assess the health of a selected watershed or stream basin with a minimum of input. Both the SPARROW and GWLF models are more physically based than SHARP and require a variety of environmental data as input. SHARP is simple to operate and requires no data input or technical knowledge, other than being able to locate a stream of interest on a USGS topo map. Model output contains estimates of TN, TP, and sediment loads for the designated area, a stream health index, area percentages of urban, woodland, water, short vegetation and bare soil/scrub, plus impervious surface area and fractional vegetation cover. SHARP also includes a runoff potential component as a separately downloaded module executable on one's desk computer.


The SHARP web site can be accessed at:, which contains a description of SHARP, its documentation, and two web pages that allow the user to run the model either in Pennsylvania or the greater Chesapeake Bay.


New EPA Tool Focuses on Reducing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution

EPA has released a new Nitrogen and Phosphorus Pollution Data Access Tool. The goal of the tool is to support nitrogen and phosphorus analyses by providing the most current data available on: the extent and magnitude of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution; water quality problems related to this pollution; and potential pollution sources in a format that is readily-accessible and easy-to-use. 


Wetland Restoration and Construction-A Technical Guide

Published by The Wetland Trust, this guide provides clear, logical, step-by-step instructions on how to design and build naturally- appearing and functioning wetlands for wildlife and fish habitat. The author reveal practices used to restore over 1,400 wetlands in 18 states and two Canadian provinces, answering questions asked by thousands of who have taken the hands-on wetland restoration workshops he has taught across North America. 


EPA Launches Climate Ready Water Utilities Initiative

EPA has launched the Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative to assist water and wastewater utilities in implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies, with the goal of a more resilient water sector. 

Runoff Rundown Team:

Snehal Pulivarti, Karen Cappiella, Hye Yeong Kwon, Bill Stack, Cecilia Lane, and Neely Law 


If you have suggestions for future Runoff Rundown content, or would like to contribute an article, contact us at 

Join the Association of Watershed and Stormwater Professionals (AWSPs) and save!
Benefits include:
  • 40% off each Center webcast - member rate is only $89
  • 50% off all Center publications
  • two issues - print and digital - of the Watershed Science Bulletin
  • 40% off job postings to the AWSPs Career Center
  • 25% off the 2012 Watershed and Stormwater Conference  
  • exclusive discounts to the industry conferences (WinSLAMM, SWMM5, PCSWMM, etc.) 
Offer Valid until February 29, 2012
*Offer valid
only on one year memberships