Promoting innovative stormwater solutions for coastal plain communities

Conference object English OPEN
Drescher, Sadie (2010)
  • Subject: Atmospheric Sciences | Pollution

In 2008, the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) surveyed seventy-three coastal plain communities to determine their current practices and need for watershed planning and low impact development (LID). The survey found that communities had varying watershed planning effectiveness and need better stormwater management, land use planning, and watershed management communication. While technical capacity is improving, stormwater programs are under staffed and innovative site designs may be prohibited under current regulations. In addition, the unique site constraints (e.g., sandy soils, low relief, tidal influence, vulnerability to coastal hazards, etc.) and lack of local examples are common LID obstacles along the coast (Vandiver and Hernandez, 2009). LID stormwater practices are an innovative approach to stormwater management that provide an alternative to structural stormwater practices, reduce runoff, and maintain or restores hydrology. The term LID is typically used to refer to the systematic application of small, distributed practices that replicate pre-development hydrologic functions. Examples of LID practices include: downspout disconnection, rain gardens, bioretention areas, dry wells, and vegetated filter strips. In coastal communities, LID practices have not yet become widely accepted or applied. The geographic focus for the project is the Atlantic and Gulf coastal plain province which includes nearly 250,000 square miles in portions of fifteen states from New Jersey to Texas (Figure 1). This project builds on CWP’s “Coastal Plain Watershed Network: Adapting, Testing, and Transferring Effective Tools to Protect Coastal Plain Watersheds” that developed a coastal land cover model, conducted a coastal plain community needs survey (results are online here:, created a coastal watershed Network, and adapted the 8 Tools for Watershed Protection Framework for coastal areas. (PDF contains 4 pages)
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