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2012 EPA Research Progress Report

Community-Based Chesapeake Bay Stormwater Management

Presidential Executive Order 13508 Exit EPA Disclaimer directs the federal government to lead efforts to restore and protect Chesapeake Bay, a body of water plagued by pollutants and poor water quality. The largest group of Bay pollutants is excess nutrients, which come from wastewater treatment plants and runoff from cropland, urban and suburban areas, and other sources.

To address the problem of nutrient pollution from urban storm water runoff in the Bay area, EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program sought applications for applied research aimed at identifying pathways for effective and durable community-based stormwater management.

In September 2012, STAR announced a $700,000 award to the University of Maryland to work with local communities to improve urban stormwater management in the Chesapeake Bay area.

The awarded project, Sustainable Community Oriented Stormwater Management: A Sensible Strategy for the Chesapeake Bay, will use innovative community involvement methods. Maryland researchers will use information from community member submissions and interviews to create a model of troublesome stormwater areas within the community. Using this model, scientists and the community will collaborate to develop improved and sustainable stormwater management practices to reduce stormwater pollution from hot spots, maintain long-term water quality in Chesapeake Bay, and protect the health of the community.

In 2011, EPA awarded almost $2.5 million  to Penn State University to open an interdisciplinary research center—the Center for Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Management—and study green infrastructure to improve water quality in Chesapeake Bay. The team that runs this center works to combine decision making and green infrastructure issues to improve stormwater management. The Penn State and Maryland teams plan to work together and share information as they both strive to improve Chesapeake Bay.

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