Community growth can revive the health of local streams and lakes. Creating “Green Infrastructure” is a practical means to reduce polluted runoff, and the EPA provides community assistance to advance this approach.
Green Infrastructure (GI) uses natural processes to better manage stormwater and curb its impacts on local waters. GI methods include preservation of trees and removal of impervious areas, as well as structural practices such as rain gardens and permeable pavements. These methods treat rain as a resource rather than waste, and can have a positive role in community development by restoring aquatic life and renewing uses of brooks and ponds.
In October 2013, EPA released a new strategic agenda (PDF) (7 pp, 982K) that outlines how it is helping communities to design and use GI methods. This strategic agenda notes that GI helps communities “… stretch their infrastructure investments further by providing multiple environmental, economic, and community benefits. This multi-benefit approach creates sustainable and resilient water infrastructure that supports and revitalizes urban communities.” Ongoing EPA actions provide partnerships and technical assistance for cities and towns across the country, including Barnstable, Chelsea, Fall River and Franklin in Massachusetts.
Download reports about local GI activities and more details on how the EPA is supporting Green Infrastructure are at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_support.cfm