Many organizations around New England can help you learn how to soak up the rain and protect your local waters. You may find training materials, workshops and other educational activities, demonstrations, and volunteer programs. Some of these organizations are included in the state listings below. Check back as we will be updating this list.
Surf Your Watershed
You can also check out Surf Your Watershed, an on-line EPA resource to help connect citizens with information about their local area.
Enter your zip code to identify your watershed and access a listing of citizen-based groups.
You can help update the system. Instructions are provided on how to add a group to the database.
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP)
CT DEEP provides information about state stormwater regulations, Low Impact Development (LID), sustainable landscaping, native plants, and additional resources on these topics.
LID: MaryAnn Nusom-Haverstock at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 424-3347
Stormwater Regulations: Nisha Patel at email@example.com or (860) 424-3840
Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Landscaping: Mary Sherwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (860) 424-3346
Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (CT NEMO)
CT NEMO primarily provides assistance to municipal officials and others on how to balance development and the protection of natural resources. CT NEMO can provide workshops on planning, stormwater, and low impact development (LID) topics.
Contact: Michael Dietz at email@example.com or (860) 345-5225
Park Watershed, Inc. (formerly Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative)
Park Watershed, Inc. collaborates within a diverse network of teachers, scientists, historians, artists, Boy and Girl Scouts, engineers, lawyers, and others to study local natural resources, share information, and complete site specific improvement projects. Through project work, such as building rain gardens, the group raises awareness about the benefits of green infrastructure and demonstrates ways in which citizens cultivate vibrant natural places.
Contact: Mary Pelletier at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Stormwater Program
To connect to state resources related to Soak up the Rain practices, contact Kathy Hoppe at Kathy.M.Hoppe@maine.gov or (207) 540-3134.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides educational materials, videos, and soil testing. Information also includes a rain garden fact sheet and video. www.umaine.edu/waterquality/lid
In central or northern Maine contact: Laura Wilson at email@example.com or (207) 581-2971
In southern Maine contact: Mary Gilbertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 774-5961
Maine NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials)
Maine NEMO is an educational program for land use decision makers. The program addresses the relationship between land use and natural resource protection with a focus on water resources, nonpoint source pollution, and storm water runoff. Maine NEMO will give presentations for municipal officials and interested groups, and help connect you to other resources.
Contact: Lamarr Clannon at email@example.com or (207) 592-3680
Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide hands-on training on natural resource issues and technical assistance to landowners on a variety of land and water issues. Some of the Maine district offices have been involved with rain gardens. Contact the office nearest you for more information and to see if they are active in this area.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP)
MADEP provides information about federal, state and local stormwater regulations and offers grants for water resource planning and restoration.
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (MACZM)
MACZM provides landscaping tips and offers grants to municipalities in Massachusetts coastal watersheds to reduce stormwater impacts from roads, highways, or parking areas.
Contact: Jan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 626-1231
Blackstone River Coalition
The Coalition's Tackling Stormwater in the Blackstone River Watershed focuses on education and outreach to four audiences: homeowners, business owners, local decision makers, and developers/engineers, spotlighting low impact development practices and simple stormwater infiltration techniques.
Contact: Peter Coffin, Coordinator, at email@example.com or (508) 753-6087
Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Committee (ETGM)
The committee works with homeowners to reduce stormwater, water pollution and water use through LID practices, organic landscaping, and other actions. ETGM and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission also work with communities on stormwater bylaw development, establishment of stormwater committees, and infrastructure mapping
Contact: Peter Phippen, Coastal Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 374-0519
Ipswich River Watershed Association
The Association promotes the Greenscapes Program and has installed demonstration projects at its Headquarters in Ipswich, including a native plant demonstration garden, rain garden, green roof, permeable paving parking lot, cistern, and rain barrel. Their website has factsheets, pictures and information about the practices.
Contact: Cynthia Ingelfinger, Outreach Coordinator, at email@example.com or (978) 412-8200
Massachusetts Watershed Coalition
The Coalition launched a Billion Gallons a Year campaign in 2012 to encourage homeowners, community groups, business and schools to cleanse polluted storm runoff. MWC offers workshops, guidance and demonstrations of simple low-cost practices to reduce runoff, and also assists towns with environmental planning and water restoration.
Contact: Ed Himlan, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (978) 534-0379
Mystic River Watershed Association
The Association promotes green infrastructure throughout the highly urbanized watershed, and has installed rain gardens, offered rain barrels to their membership, and coordinated a youth stormwater education program.
Contact: Beth MacBlane, Outreach Coordinator, at Beth@MysticRiver.org or 781-316-3438
North and South Rivers Watershed Association
The Association promotes the Greenscapes Program to encourage environmentally-friendly garden and landscaping practices. They also work with schools to provide environmental education and help communities carry out stormwater bylaw review and development and install raingardens, permeable pavement and other stormwater practices.
Contact: Debbie Cook, Marketing and Communications Director, at Debbie@nsrwa.org or (781) 659-8168
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
The Refuge's Slow the Flow Campaign encourages landowners in the Plum Island Estuary watershed to make lawn care and landscaping more environmentally friendly.
Contact: Nancy Pau, Wildlife Biologist, at Nancy_Pau@fws.gov or (978) 465-5753 x211
The Millers River Watershed Council, Inc.
The Council provides stormwater educational resources to towns and individuals throughout the watershed, as well as LID bylaw technical assistance to towns in the watershed's eastern half in Worcester County through a Section 319 Program grant in collaboration with the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission.
Contact: Ivan Ussach, Watershed Coordinator, at email@example.com or (978) 248-9491
Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
The PVPC promotes the Greenscapes program and hosts Think Blue Massachusetts, a stormwater outreach campaign. Its environmental staff assists towns with environmental planning, bylaw review and development, and water quality restoration.
Contact: Anne Capra, Principal Planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (413) 781-6045
Salem Sound Coastwatch
The organization promotes works with homeowners, businesses, municipalities, students and others to educate and encourage the use of environmentally-friendly landscaping and gardening practices through the Greenscapes Program, low impact development, and other management practices that conserve water, prevent toxic runoff and improve water quality.
Contact: Barbara Warren, Executive Director, at email@example.com or (978) 741-7900
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES)
NH DES publishes several fact sheets and publications related to stormwater and watershed management. DES also hosts workshops/trainings and a Watershed blog, and can connect you to local watershed groups.
Contact: Jillian McCarthy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 271-8475
University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension
UNH Cooperative Extension provides New Hampshire citizens with research-based education and information, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions that strengthen youth, families and communities, sustain natural resources, and improve the economy.
Contact: Julia Peterson, email@example.com or (603) 862-6706
UNH Stormwater Center
The UNH Stormwater Center is dedicated to the protection of water resources through effective stormwater management. The primary functions of the center are twofold: (i) Research and development of stormwater treatment systems, (ii) To provide resources to the stormwater management community. The Center has numerous reports, and resources on stormwater management.
Contact: Jamie Houle, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (603) 767-7091
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP)
PREP works with 52 towns and over 70 organizations to keep Seacoast waters clean and healthy. PREP creates educational materials and outreach events to raise awareness about stormwater and water pollution in the Piscataqua Region. PREP also gives grants to local municipalities to implement water pollution protection measures in their towns. PREP launched the Clean Water Music Series (link to www.CleanWaterMusic.com) in 2012 to promote caring for the region's waters while enjoying performances from local musicians. Follow PREP on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Jill Farrell at email@example.com or (603) 862-0724
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM)
Connect to the various water quality programs and resources at RIDEM, including information about actions citizens can take to improve water quality. Some specific programs include:
Regulating stormwater discharges from Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), industrial facilities and construction sites. Find specific information regarding Rhode Island stormwater permitting.
Nonpoint Source Program
Links to the RI Stormwater Installation Design and Standards Manual, the RI Septic System Checkup Manual, and the grant program for water resource planning and restoration.
University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension
URI Outreach Center
Information and trainings for citizens, communities, government agencies, and businesses on the latest sustainable horticulture, landscape restoration and urban agriculture topics
For more links and publications specific to Rhode Island visit Resources
RI NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials)
NEMO provides training and resources to help local officials manage impacts of land use on water resources. Resources for municipal stormwater managers focusing on public education and outreach, are located at www.ristormwatersolutions.org
Contact: Lorraine Joubert at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 874-2138
Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT)
As part of their stormwater management program, RIDOT has developed Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions, a statewide stormwater education and outreach project. This was produced in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension, the RI Department of Environmental Management and RI municipalities. The website offers educational materials and methods for the general public, stormwater managers, environmental educators, and businesses.
Contact: Allison Hamel at email@example.com or (401) 222-2023 x4097
Northern Rhode Island Conservation District (NRICD)
NRICD is available for technical assistance with rain gardens and to develop and implement storm water outreach and education campaigns in Providence County and through collaborations throughout Rhode Island.
Contact: Gina DeMarco, firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 934-0840
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Green Infrastructure Initiative
The Vermont Green Infrastructure Initiative is promoting the use of rain gardens, green roofs, permeable pavement and other green infrastructure practices to help restore and protect Vermont's waters.
Contact: Justin Kenney at email@example.com or (802) 490-6118
Lake Champlain Sea Grant
A cooperative program of the University of Vermont and SUNY Plattsburg, Lake Champlain Sea Grant develops and supports research, outreach, and education programs, including information on reducing the stormwater footprint of properties.
Contact: Laura Killian, Land Use Planning & Water Quality Educator at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (802) 859-3086 ext. 340
Lake Champlain International
Lake Champlain International's BLUE® program helps homeowners reduce water pollution runoff by certifying homes as watershed friendly.
Contact: Ross Saxton at email@example.com or (802) 879-3466.
Ecological Landscaping Association
The Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) is a nonprofit, member-based organization made up of professionals, businesses and pro-active community members "advocating for environmentally responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices." Through education, collaboration, and networking, ELA promotes the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes that are guided by a knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems.