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Conference To Focus On Managing Stormwater June 12

By Rebecca Zeiber, NH Sea Grant
June 11, 2008

Local decision makers will have the opportunity to learn about ways to improve stormwater management in their communities at “Weathering the Storm: Managing Stormwater with Low Impact Development (LID) in Northern New England,” a conference at Great Bay Gallery in Somersworth on June 12, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

This conference is cosponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Sea Grant, the NH Coastal Program and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

As it flows over the ground, stormwater picks up materials that can contaminate the local waterway. This runoff is considered the leading source of water pollution. Traditional stormwater management collects and channels water through gutters and storm drains and shuttles it off-site into local water bodies, explains Julia Peterson, water resources extension specialist for NH Sea Grant.

LID is an approach to constructing and redeveloping land so that stormwater can be a potential asset. LID techniques filter stormwater through vegetation and allow it to infiltrate into the ground. Peterson says LID can be less demanding on town infrastructure, it can reduce water pollution and helps to recharge the groundwater.

LID may encompass better site design, such as making roads slightly narrower or minimizing land clearing as ways to decrease the amount of impervious surfaces and therefore polluted runoff. Construction elements like vegetated swales and pervious pavements can also be important aspects of LID.

This conference will help local municipal leaders, including planning boards, conservation commissions, city councils, town planners, regional planners, zoning and development boards and community leaders, learn about stormwater and LID.

In addition to discussions about the importance of stormwater management and ways to implement LID, conference attendees will review site plans and will have an opportunity to visit the UNH Stormwater Treatment Center.

Cost of the conference is $25 and it is part of a series of conferences offered in Northern New England.

The planning committee for this event includes staff of the NH Coastal Program, NH Department of Environmental Services, NH Estuaries Project, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, UNH Stormwater Center, NH Sea Grant, UNH Cooperative Extension, Strafford Regional Planning Commission, Town of Durham, Town of Exeter, Hodgson Brook Restoration Project, NH Natural Resource Outreach Coalition, and Altus Engineering.

For more information or to register for this conference, please visit www.fbenvironmental.com/lid.html.


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