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Sustainable Watershed Resources Management – the Shepherd Creek Pilot Project
Greening of Consent Decree
Sustainable watershed management research integrates social and scientific research in order to formulate pollution control policies that may be easier to implement and sustain. The research approaches ecosystem restoration and management in a way that offers an alternative to, or augmentation of, traditional regulatory oversight. Projects involve green infrastructure stormwater management, nutrient control, and ecological and water quality monitoring in rural and urban settings.
The management of water in the United States faces many challenges. Forty percent of U.S. waters are heavily polluted. In addition, aquifers are being depleted and the loss of natural wetlands has accelerated. The United States also faces the challenge of aging water infrastructure. There are approximately 240,000 water main breaks per year and up to 75,000 sanitary sewer overflows resulting in the discharge of 3 to 10 billion gallons of untreated wastewater. This results in approximately 5,500 annual illnesses due to exposures to contaminated recreational waters. These are just some of the problems that call for sustainable and innovative solutions in order to meet rural and urban communities' needs.
Researchers use adaptive management and green infrastructure, as well as hydrologic, economic, ecological, and soil studies, to help urban and rural communities sustainably manage their resources. Some of the technical activities within this area are focused on using economic incentives (such as reverse auctions and trading) to promote watershed management using green infrastructure (such as rain gardens, rain barrels, and swales) in urban watersheds, and the use of water quality trading to control nutrients in rural watersheds.
Environmental Economics for Watershed Restoration: Valuation for Non-Economists (EPA/600/F-12/509) February 2012
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
Slavic Village Community Development Corporation
U.S. Geological Survey
U.S. Department of Justice
Ohio State University
Cleveland Botanical Garden
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District
Hamilton County Engineers Office
Cincinnati Health Department
Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District
EPA Region 5
EPA Region 5 Central Regional Laboratory
U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service
- Impacts of Residential Demolition and the Sustainable Reuse of Vacant Lots (Cleveland, Ohio)
- Sustainable Watershed Resources Management – the Shepherd Creek Pilot Project
- Lick Run: Green Infrastructure in Cincinnati and Beyond
- Adaptive Management for Urban Watersheds: The Slavic Village Pilot Project
- Greening of Consent Decree
Benson, M.H. and A.S. Garmestani. (2011). "Embracing Panarchy, Building Resilience, and Integrating Adaptive Management Through a Rebirth of the National Environmental Policy Act." Journal of Environmental Management, 92: 1420–1427.
Shuster, W.D., A. Barkasi, P. Clark, et al. (2011). "Moving Beyond the Udorthent – A Proposed Protocol for Surveying Urban Soils to Service Data Needs for Contemporary Urban Ecosystem Management." Soil Survey Horizons, Spring.
Thurston, H.W. (ed.). (2011). Economic Incentives for Stormwater Control. Taylor and Francis, Boca Raton, FL.