Tools to Keep Water Healthy

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announces the launch of a new Massachusetts Clean Water Tool Kit website, which serves as the state’s primary public education resource related to nonpoint source pollution.

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The Toolkit, developed for MassDEP by Geosyntec Consultants, includes sections focused on the major categories of nonpoint source pollution, 127 fact sheets on best management practices to reduce pollution, and a collection of “Interactive Scenarios” based on Massachusetts landscapes.

The Interactive Scenarios allow users to explore ways to reduce pollution and improve water quality in a variety of highly detailed landscapes that are typical in Massachusetts, including residential, agricultural, urban, roads, construction, and shoreline restoration.

To view the Clean Water Toolkit, go to http://prj.geosyntec.com/npsmanual.

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Soak Up the Rain Webinars

Learn about innovative stormwater solutions. EPA New England is hosting webinars to help communities Soak Up the Rain.skaneatlles-copy-reduced-637x1024

Webinar participants will:

  • Hear about public outreach resources and programs.
  • See who’s soaking up the rain with green infrastructure.
  • Learn about the latest tools and resources from EPA and others.
  • Share successes, barriers, and lessons learned in New England communities.

The next webinar is “Back to School: Soaking up the Rain at K-12 Schools – Making Connections with Teachers and Students on Green Infrastructure”. This free webinar on October 6th, 3:00 – 4:30 EST, will feature expert speakers that include:

  • Peter Hinrichs, Learning Prep School in Newton, Massachusetts
  • Peter Coffin, the Blackstone River Coalition and Blackstone Headwaters Coalition
  • Molly Allard, Northern Rhode Island Conservation District

You can view the webinar flyer and register online at the EPA Soak Up the Rain website: https://www.epa.gov/soakuptherain

Runoff Remedies Presentation

Please join us at 7 pm on May 10 to learn about Runoff Remedies for Lakes & Ponds.  This free program at the Groton Town Hall will show how to reduce stormwater run-off from your property.

Rain that runs off from homes, lawns, driveways and parking areas carries a lot of pollution. This dirty stormwater flows onto streets and then into streams, ponds and lakes.  Sand, silt and other pollutants spoil uses of local waters – stream life vanishes, lakes fill with weeds, and high bacteria counts can pose risks for people.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEd Himlan of the Massachusetts Watershed Coalition will share a slideshow on how to keep lakes and ponds healthy. This program will feature low-cost, easy ways to prevent and fix polluted run-off:

  • See where the rain goes
  • Build rain gardens and bio-swales
  • Create rock-filled soakage trenches
  • Plant filter strips and groundcover buffers
  • Reduce erosion of dirt roads
  • Make simple basins to capture sediment
  • And more

Putting stormwater in the ground will help to lower costs for weed treatments and drainage systems.   The program will explain how to make a difference for your lake and pond.  This guidance can also help prevent run-off problems that harm streams and brooks.

The May 10 talk is sponsored by the Groton Lakes Association, Great Ponds Advisory Committee and Lost Lake Advisory Committee. The program is free and open to the general public.  For more information, please contact Alex Woodle (978) 448-6860.

Cost Effective Stormwater Solutions

Join us on Wednesday, November 18 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  This 5 p.m. meeting will discuss solutions for the polluted runoff that harms stream, lakes and ponds.

LCU sediment bar 111815 CSS blogStormwater is the leading cause for damages to local waters.  Native trout vanish as tons of pollutants are dumped  in urban and suburban streams every year.  These pollutants also accumulate in lakes, feeding invasive weeds and toxic algae that ruin swimming and fishing.

Most communities are concerned about the rising costs for stormwater control.  Fortunately, there are  efficient ways to prevent and fix stormwater problems.  Less costly solutions will improve local waters and reduce municipal expenses for water treatment.

This meeting will feature expert speakers on Low Impact Development, stream renewal, BMP site selection, stormwater assistance programs and the costs of runoff remedies.  Town boards, highway departments, lake associations, watershed groups, builders and concerned citizens will gain practical guidance to remove more pollution for less cost.

The $10 registration fee (free for students) includes meeting materials and refreshments.  You can view the meeting agenda and register online at Eventbrite.  For more details, email mwc@commonwaters.org or telephone (978) 534-0379.

Community Stormwater Solutions in Action Lessons from Monoosnoc Brook

Oct 17 CSSIA workshop

Stormwater is a leading cause of damage to streams, lakes, and water supplies. Fortunately,there are effective ways to prevent and fix polluted runoff. Leominster took a community approach to stormwater problems to remove 500 tons of debris and sediment from Monoosnoc Brook.

Municipal boards, builders, engineers, and watershed and lake associations will gain practical information to make positive impacts in their own communities at a free workshop on October 17, 2014 at Leominster Library. Expert speakers will present guidance in selecting practices to achieve more pollutant reduction for less cost. The free 2-hour workshop will be followed by an optional tour of nearby bio-swales, tree box filters, porous walkways and other BMP’s.

Pre-registration is requested – email mwc@commonwaters.org , or telephone 978-534-0379.

The Monoosnoc Brook project has been partly supported with Federal funds from the Environmental Protection Agency to the MA Department of Environmental Protection under an s.319 competitive grant.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens reduce pollution caused by stormwater. Planted with shrubs and perennials, upkeep is simple and inexpensive. By creating a rain garden you put stormwater into the ground and keep dirty runoff from harming streams, ponds and water supplies.

Picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Rain Garden picture from EPA Green Infrastructure Website

Read more to learn how to plan and build a rain garden for your yard.

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Green Infrastructure Workshop and Vendor Fair

East%20Bioswale%20(NEI)smallA free workshop and vendor fair on clean water, green streets and green neighborhoods will be at Holyoke Community College on March 17.  This day-long event for builders, designers and municipal officials will include:

  • Presentations on design and construction considerations for green infrastructure BMPs
  • Three case studies about streetside bioretention, porous paving and gravel wetlands, which offer practical guidance for design, permitting, construction, cost and maintenance
  • Vendor fair featuring varied materials, resources and services used for stormwater green infrastructure projects
  • Lunch and networking opportunities (free box lunch provided)

The registration deadline is March 10, 2014.   Workshop sponsors are EPA Region 1; Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center.  For more details and to register for the workshop, visit http://wrrc.umass.edu/gi