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Local Organizations

Soak up the Rain

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.

How's My Waterway App
Learn the condition of local streams, lakes and other waters. See if your local waterway was checked for pollution, what was found, and what is being done.

Connecticut Soak Up the Rain

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Exit
CT DEEP provides information about state stormwater regulations, Low Impact Development (LID), sustainable landscaping, native plants, and additional resources on these topics.

Stormwater Management Exit

Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Exit

Contacts: Stormwater Regulations: Nisha Patel at nisha.patel@ct.gov or 860-424-3840 Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Landscaping: Mary Sherwin at mary.sherwin@ct.gov or 860-424-3346

Take a Virtual Tour of UConn Green Infrastructure Exit
See some of the green infrastructure practices, including permeable surfaces, rain gardens/bioretention and green roofs, used on the Storrs, CT campus.

Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (CT NEMO) Exit
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 michael.dietz@uconn.edu or 860-345-5225

Park Watershed, Inc. (formerly Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative) Exit
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 maryp@parkwatershed.org

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Maine Soak Up the Rain

Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Stormwater Program Exit
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 Exit
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 Exit

In southern Maine contact: Mary Gilbertson at mgilbertson@pwd.org or 207-774-5961

Maine NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Exit
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 lclannon@roadrunner.com or 207-592-3680

Soil and Water Conservation Districts Exit
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.

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Massachusetts Soak Up the Rain

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), Stormwater Exit
MADEP provides information about federal, state and local stormwater regulations and offers grants for water resource planning and restoration.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Exit

Contacts: Stormwater requirements: Fred Civian at frederick.civian@state.ma.us or 617-292-5821
Grant opportunities: Jane Peirce at jane.peirce@state.ma.us or 508-767-2792

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (MACZM) Exit
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 jan.smith@state.ma.us or 617-626-1231

Blackstone River Coalition Exit
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 peter.coffin@zaptheblackstone.org or 508-753-6087

Charles River Watershed Association Exit
As part of its Blue Cities Initiative the Association promotes the use of green infrastructure (GI) at various scales ranging from a sub-watershed, neighborhood, street and individual site. The Initiative encourages water centric planning and design and has implemented several demonstration projects showcasing the use of rain gardens, porous pavements, stormwater tree pits etc. within and outside the Charles' watershed. Visit their website for more information on various educational resources offered including the Blue Cities Guide, factsheets on GI practices and training / consulting opportunities.

Contact: Pallavi Kalia Mande, Director of Blue Cities, at pmande@crwa.org or 781-788-0007

Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Committee (ETGM) Exit
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 pphippen@mvpc.org or 978-374-0519

Ipswich River Watershed Association Exit
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 cingelfinger@ipswichriver.org or 978-412-8200

Mass Watershed Coalition Billion Gallons a Year Campaign
Stormwater Solutions in Action: An Inventory Of Projects Reducing Polluted Runoff In Massachusetts, See the report (PDF) (45 pp, 795 K, about PDF) and map (PDF) (1 pg, 3.3 MB, about PDF).

Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Exit
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 mwc@commonwaters.org or 978-534-0379

Mystic River Watershed Association Exit
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

Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA) Exit
NepRWA partners with local municipalities to plan green infrastructure projects on public and private property. NepRWA, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, formed a coalition of towns dedicated to reducing impacts of stormwater pollution through its Neponset Stormwater Partnership. Staff have performed work on outreach and education, bylaw evaluation, and stormwater management planning for Town Departments. Additional information is available at www.neponsetstormwater.org. Exit

Contact: Ian Cooke, Executive Director, at cooke@neponset.org or 781-575-0354 x 305

North and South Rivers Watershed Association Exit
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 Exit
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. Exit
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 council@millersriver.net or 978-248-9491

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Exit
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: Patty Gambarini, Senior Environmental Planner, at pgambarini@pvpc.org or 413-781-6045

Salem Sound Coastwatch Exit
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 barbara.warren@salemsound.org or 978-741-7900

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New Hampshire Soak Up the Rain

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Exit
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.

Soak Up the Rain New Hampshire (SOAK) Exit is a voluntary program managed by NHDES with the goal of protecting and restoring clean water in the state's lakes, streams, and coastal waters from the negative impacts of stormwater pollution. Through SOAK, NHDES and local partners provide resources and technical assistance to help homeowners install rain gardens, rain barrels, dry wells, and other practices to manage stormwater on their properties. Finds lots of information and resources, including SOAK stories about projects around the state.

Contact: Jillian McCarthy at jillian.mccarthy@des.nh.gov or 603-271-8475

University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension Exit
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 at julia.peterson@unh.edu or 603-862-6706

UNH Stormwater Center Exit
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 james.houle@unh.edu or 603-767-7091

Hodgson Brook Restoration Project Exit
Hodgson Brook is a seven mile long urban stream in the heart of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Over 38% of the watershed is covered by impervious roads, parking lots and rooftops which have led to poor water quality and high flows in the brook. Working with the city Department of Public Works, local businesses and community volunteers, residential rain gardens, rain barrels, tree box filters and bioretention areas are being installed throughout the watershed. Over time, these practices which collect, filter and infiltrate stormwater will help reduce the amount of pollutants and the volume of stormwater entering the brook improving its overall health.

Contact: Candace J. Dolan at cjdolan@ccsnh.edu or 603-559-1529

Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) Exit
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 jill.farrell@unh.edu or 603-862-0724

For a listing of groups at work in the Piscataqua Region (PDF) (4 pp, 165 K).

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Rhode Island Soak Up the Rain

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Exit
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:

Stormwater Exit
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 Exit
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 Exit
Information and programs for citizens, communities, government agencies, and businesses.

RI NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Exit
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 Exit

Contact: Lorraine Joubert at ljoubert@uri.edu or 401-874-2138

Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT)
As part of their stormwater management program, RIDOT has developed Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions, Exit 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 ahamel@dot.ri.gov or 401-222-2023 x4097

Northern Rhode Island Conservation District (NRICD) Exit
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 at gdemarco.nricd@verizon.net or 401-934-0840  

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Vermont Soak Up the Rain

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 justin.kenney@state.vt.us or 802-490-6118

Let it Rain
Let it Rain
This Lake Champlain Basin-wide stormwater program offers financial and technical assistance for property owners willing to use green stormwater infrastructure to manage their runoff.

Contact: Rebecca Tharp at rtharp@uvm.edu or 802-656-2514

Lake Champlain Sea Grant Exit
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: Rebecca Tharp at rtharp@uvm.edu or 802-656-2514

Chittenden County Stream Team Exit
The Chittenden County Stream Team is a project to engage citizens across an eight-town area (Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston & Winooski) to implement projects to reduce non-point source pollution and stormwater volume at the local level. The project utilizes social networking tools to form a cadre of concerned citizens and professionals interested in hands-on activities to reduce the harmful effects of stormwater.

Contact: Sophie Sauve at sophie@winooskinrcd.org or 802-828-4493 ext. 110

Lake Champlain International Exit
Lake Champlain International's BLUE® program helps homeowners reduce water pollution runoff by certifying homes as watershed friendly.

Contact: Ross Saxton at ross@mychamplain.net or (802) 879-3466.

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Other Organizations Soak Up the Rain

Ecological Landscape Alliance Exit
The Ecological Landscape Alliance (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.

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