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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 impervious 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.
LID practices may be incorporated into existing as well as newly built developments in a community. They increase groundwater supplies and reduce the negative water quality impacts to streams and fish habitat, flooding, and in many cases the cost of stormwater treatment and infrastructure. They are aesthetically pleasing and have been shown to increase real estate values.
An LID overview presentation can be downloaded here LID presentation (4mb .pdf).
An LID brochure can be downloaded here LID brochure (1.5mb, .pdf).
With support from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality we launched a new training and technical assistance program entitled "LID Academy" for small and medium sized communities (smaller than Phase II) in the Mid and Upper Willamette Valley. Contact Megan Kleibacker for more information on content.
Stormwater Solutions Workshops
With the help of grants from Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Laird Norton Foundation, we partnered with the Oregon Environmental Council to deliver Stormwater Solutions Workshops to communities in the Grants Pass/Medford area, Eugene area, Mid-Willamette Valley (Albany, Corvallis and Salem area) and Central Oregon (Bend, Prineville and Redmond area). More information on these workshops can be found at the Oregon Environmental Council's website.