As our cities and towns grow and develop, we modify our streams, wetlands and hillsides with roads, houses and buildings that don’t absorb rainfall and snowmelt like undeveloped areas. As the rain falls and snow melts on these surfaces, the water runs off and picks up sediment and pollutants and carries them straight to our streams. This runoff can increase flooding, damage streambanks and fish habitat, and pollute streams, lakes and estuaries.
We deliver education and technical assistance on low-impact development (LID) practices that address these stormwater impacts. We use the term low-impact development (LID) to mean a combination of practices that conserve natural resource areas and use existing natural site features with distributed, small-scale stormwater management practices to capture and treat runoff with vegetation and soil similar to a well-vegetated undeveloped landscape. Examples of such practices include street trees, bioretention areas (bioswales, rain gardens, etc.), pervious pavement, vegetated roofs, and soil amendments.
Our current education programs include:
- Low Impact Development (LID) Academy
- Rain Gardens
- SWAMP (StormWater Assessment and Management decision-support Process)
- Urban Forestry – FREMO
All of our education efforts are affiliated with the National NEMO program and National NEMO network (NEMO = Nonpoint pollution Education for Municipal Officials). We have also partnered with the Oregon Environmental Council on delivering Stormwater Solutions workshops. Please view their website to learn about their current efforts and related resources (OEC's website, past workshops, LID resources).
Our current education efforts were developed after conducting an extensive needs assessment in Oregon Communities (Barriers and Opportunities publication); working with the Stormwater Solutions Team, a statewide task force convened by the Oregon Environmental Council in 2007, that conducted a needs assessment and created the Stormwater Solutions report (see OEC’s website); and experiences delivering LID workshops as part of past grant funded Stormwater Solutions efforts.