An official website of the United States government.

Soak Up the Rain New England Webinar Archive

On this page:
On other pages:

Porous in Provincetown: How Green Infrastructure Revitalized Commercial Street

Original airdate: Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

Coastal cities face unique challenges balancing water quality and ecosystem health with economic development and tourism. This webinar showcases an innovative green infrastructure project that addressed local water quality issues by installing over 2 miles of porous pavement on Commercial Street, a popular tourist destination and cultural hub in Provincetown, Massachusetts. This project resulted in a cleaner and healthier Provincetown Harbor, reducing beach closings by nearly 90% and allowing tourism and the shellfish industry to thrive.

Presenters:

  • Russ Kleekamp, GHD
  • Rob Roseen, Waterstone Engineering

For more information about this project, please see EPA's Nonpoint Source Success Story (PDF) (2 pp, 1.2 MB, About PDF)

Top of Page


Effective Public Outreach in Massachusetts MS4 Communities

Original Airdate: Thursday, May 7, 2020, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EDT

This webinar showcases successful public outreach strategies and provides an in-depth discussion of the benefits and challenges of building an effective community stormwater outreach campaign. Local and state governments, regional stormwater and watershed groups, and private and non-profit partners across Massachusetts have delivered effective outreach materials and resources to improve stormwater management under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The Greenscapes Program has implemented a robust and diverse stormwater outreach campaign across Massachusetts North Shore communities, while the Town of Tewksbury has tailored a local outreach strategy and community-specific materials. The webinar features recommendations for town organizers, planners, educators, and engagement coordinators to successfully engage and educate the public on key stormwater topics, including stormwater enterprise funds, nonpoint source pollution, and green infrastructure.

Presenters:

  • Margaret Duffy, Greenscapes Coordinator, Salem Sound Coastwatch
  • Arthur G. Markos, Project Manager, Department of Public Works, Town of Tewksbury, MA

Top of Page


Living Shorelines: Slowing Coastal Erosion and Saving Connecticut Habitats

Original airdate: Thursday, April 9, 2020, 10:30AM - 12:00 PM EST

This webinar showcases a recent living shorelines project in Stratford, Connecticut which provided 900 feet of coastal erosion control, added 30 acres of coastal habitat, and documented the ecological benefits of living shorelines through monitoring techniques. This is the second of two living shorelines webinars in 2020, and features speakers from Sacred Heart University and the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) on the environmental benefits of implementing living shorelines projects.

Presenters:

  • Kim Bradley, CIRCA, University of Connecticut
  • Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Sacred Heart University

Top of Page


Soak up the Rain Presents: EPA's Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST)

Original airdate: Thursday, February 27, 2020, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST

EPA's Watershed Management Optimization Support Tool (WMOST) facilitates integrated and cost-effective water management among communities, utilities, watershed organizations, consultants, and others at the local or small watershed scale. In this webinar, Dr. Naomi Detenbeck from EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) demonstrates the updated WMOST Version 3.01 (https://www.epa.gov/ceam/wmost) and discusses the pending release of a module to estimate additional benefits and co-benefits associated with implementation of green infrastructure practices. The presentation provides background on the WMOST tool, demonstrates its capabilities, and illustrates successful implementation of the tool through case studies.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Naomi Detenbeck, EPA Office of Research and Development

Top of Page


Building Resilience Through Living Shorelines

Original airdate: Thursday, January 16, 2020, 1:30PM - 3:00PM EST

Coastal stormwater management must build resilience, protect economically and environmentally important areas, and reduce erosion and flooding. Living shorelines - nature-based coastal infrastructure practices - can be a meaningful solution for coastal New England communities. In this webinar, project partners discuss the environmental benefits of living shorelines installations in Portsmouth and Durham, New Hampshire. The webinar provides lessons learned and recommendations for regulators, planners, practitioners, coastal property owners, and members of the public on nature-based coastal infrastructure projects.

Presenters:

  • Eric Roberts, The Nature Conservancy
  • Tom Ballestero, University of New Hampshire
  • David Burdick, University of New Hampshire
  • Kirsten Howard, NH Department of Environmental Services

Top of Page


Rain Gardens for Residents on Aquidneck Island

Original airdate: Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST

In this webinar, Sara Churgin and Lauren Carson of the Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District discuss strategies to engage the public and amplify understanding about rain gardens and stormwater management on Aquidneck Island. The webinar covers the Rhode Island Green Infrastructure Coalition’s effective community engagement process, including educational workshops, surveys, a rain barrel program, and rain garden installation assistance and maintenance training. The webinar includes lessons learned and provides recommendations for encouraging residents to take an active role in managing their stormwater and protecting their environment.

Presenters:

  • Sara Churgin and Lauren Carson, Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District

Top of Page


Working Together: Collaborative Stormwater Management in Central Massachusetts

Original Airdate: Thursday, December 5, 2019, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST

Stormwater challenges aren't limited by town boundaries. Many New England rivers, lakes, and watersheds stretch through more than one community, creating unique challenges and opportunities to address water quality. This Soak up the Rain New England webinar showcases how the Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition (CMRSWC) works with its 30 participating towns to address Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit requirements. Highlights include developing and sharing education templates, stormwater pollution plans, and standard operating procedures; exchanging equipment and resources; and building knowledge regarding stormwater management. The webinar covers lessons learned and provides recommendations for collaborative stormwater management across municipalities.

Presenters:

  • Kerry Reed, City of Framingham, MA
  • Thomas Gregory, Town of Spencer, MA
  • John Woodsmall, Town of Holden, MA

Top of Page


Reaching Public Consensus: Stormwater Funding in Ashland, MA

Original Airdate: Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 1:30PM - 3:00PM EST

One of the greatest challenges for New England municipalities with a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4s) is reaching consensus on stormwater program funding to support implementation of permit requirements. This Soak up the Rain webinar explores the town of Ashland, MA’s three-year effort to adopt and implement a municipal stormwater enterprise fund for their community. Presenters discuss the drivers and key steps taken to establish a stormwater enterprise fund, including strategies and recommendations for program implementation and operation. The webinar also explains the critical roles of stakeholder involvement, creative partnerships, and meaningful public outreach to generate support for funding solutions.

Presenters:

  • Maeghan Dos Anjos, Conservation Agent/Director, Town of Ashland, MA
  • Rob St. Germain, Chair, Stormwater Advisory Committee, Town of Ashland, MA
  • Evan White, Project Engineer, Department of Public Works, Town of Ashland, MA
  • Steve Mitchell, Select Board, Town of Ashland, MA

Top of Page


Storm Hazard Mitigation through Designing with Nature

Original Airdate: Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 1:00PM - 2:00PM EST

This webinar explores the City of Northampton, Massachusetts' innovative approach to addressing storm hazards through Northampton Designs with Nature. Green infrastructure is a critical part of a broader comprehensive system to mitigate flooding. This webinar examines key elements of the city’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which includes a combination of traditional stormwater management, green infrastructure, and regulatory approaches designed to produce local environmental results. The webinar explores how to advance and potentially replicate these tools and techniques for any community, including strategic and comprehensive plans, traditional flood control methods, and green infrastructure, while identifying and incorporating local and regional perspectives.

Presenters:

  • Wayne Feiden, FAICP, Director of Planning & Sustainability, City of Northampton, MA
  • Emily Slotnick, AICP, CFM, Senior Planner, Environment & Land Use, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, MA
  • Rosalie Starvish, PE, CFM, CPMSM, Project Manager, GZA

Top of Page


Getting Ready for Rain Part II: Nature Based Solutions in State and Local Hazard Mitigation Plans

Original Airdate: Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST

This webinar showcases unique approaches in Massachusetts and Vermont to incorporating nature-based solutions in hazard mitigation and climate adaptation planning at the state and local level. Massachusetts staff discuss the Municipal Vulnerability Program (MVP), and Vermont staff showcase a partnership to protect and improve water quality and reduce the impacts of erosion and flooding during extreme weather events.

Presenters:

  • Sarah J. White, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)
  • Margot Mansfield, Coastal Hazards Specialist, MA Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
  • Lauren Oates, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, VT Emergency Management Agency

Top of Page


Green Streets in Dense Communities

Original Airdate: Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EDT

This webinar showcases a two-year planning initiative by the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) to identify and design green infrastructure strategies for dense, residential city streets. CRWA designed three individual "green streets" and a Green Streets Guidance document for the City to help facilitate incorporation of green infrastructure systems into all roadway improvement projects. In addition to improving water quality, Cambridge is interested in using green streets to enhance.

Presenters:

  • Julie Dyer Wood, Director of Projects, Charles River Watershed Association, Weston, MA
  • Melissa Miguel, P.E. Supervising Engineer, Department of Public Works, City of Cambridge, MA

Top of Page


Challenges and Practical Solutions to Managing Municipal Stormwater Systems

Original Airdate: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST

Municipalities may be hesitant to install green infrastructure (GI) when they're unfamiliar with its technical requirements and concerned about the costs of operation and maintenance. Dr. Houle has conducted research demonstrating that GI solutions can be more efficient and cost-effective than conventional infrastructure, and less costly to maintain if properly designed and managed. Dr. Houle discusses the results and lessons learned from a multi-year collaboration between the UNHSWC and the Dover, New Hampshire Department of Public Works & Utilities (DPW) to install GI in the Berry Brook Watershed. Through their strong partnership they adapted conventional GI to make it simpler, less costly to maintain, and user-friendly for daily DPW operations.

Presenters:

  • Dr. James Houle, Program Director, University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center (UNHSWC)

Top of Page


Getting Ready for Rain: Integrating Green Infrastructure into Hazard Mitigation Plans

Original Airdate: Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST

This webinar provides an overview of the Massachusetts Hazard Mitigation requirements; explains opportunities, benefits and incentives for incorporating green infrastructure into hazard mitigation plans; and showcases nature-based solutions. Communities that can align local Hazard Mitigation Plans and resources to fund efforts like green infrastructure can reduce the impacts of flooding, protect and improve water quality, and reduce the impacts of stormwater while increasing resiliency to severe storm events.

Presenters:

  • Melissa A. Surette, Senior Planner, Risk Analysis Branch, Mitigation Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),
  • Trish Garrigan, Healthy Watershed and Green Infrastructure Coordinator, EPA Region 1
  • Steve Long, Director of Government Relations, The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts

Top of Page


The Guiteras Green Infrastructure Community School Project, Bristol, Rhode Island

Original Airdate: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 2:00PM - 3:30PM EST

This webinar highlights an inspiring and successful green infrastructure project at the Guiteras School to save and protect nearby Silver Creek in Bristol, Rhode Island from polluted stormwater runoff. Two mothers of elementary school students designed and created an outdoor education facility to enhance environmental education and improve water and environmental quality in and around the creek.  The project engaged 300 students at the school with hands-on projects to accomplish these tasks. The project was a partnership with the Town's Department of Community Development and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's 319 program. The project resulted in the treatment and infiltration of stormwater runoff flowing from the school to the creek, a reduction in the amount of impervious surface, and the control of a growing Canada goose population.

Presenters:

  • Betsy Dake, Senior Environmental Scientist, Section 319 Grant Manager, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management
  • Brooke Merriam, Landscape Designer, Sunflower Designs, LLC
  • Shannon Rozea, Executive Director/Landscape Architect, Thrive Outside
  • Edward M. Tanner, Principal Planner, Department of Community Development, Town of Bristol, Rhode Island

Top of Page