How to Use LID Best Practices

Learn how to work with nature to enhance your community while protecting streams and lakes. Low Impact Development (LID) offers effective solutions for stormwater management and green design.

A practical four-page guide shows how to permit LID Best Practices in your local bylaws. This analysis helps communities consider existing land use regulations and encourage LID practices for residential development.

partridgeberry-2006-eoea-website-croppedLID best practices include: minimizing the alteration of natural areas; minimizing creation of impervious surfaces; retaining natural vegetated buffers along wetlands and waterways; and minimizing changes to natural flow patterns.

By following this chart, communities can see how they’re supporting the use of LID techniques as the preferred, most easily permitted methods for managing stormwater and where they can improve.

Please visit MassAudubon’s Shaping the Future Program to download this free guide for improving local bylaws.



Greener Development

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.


EPA: Green Street Planters

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