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Fixing Flooding: One Community at a Time
February 26, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
CONFERENCE BACKGROUND: Flooding, even from small storm events, has been affecting the quality of life of New Jersey’s residents. Based upon a preliminary land cover analysis of New Jersey, the state has covered 12.1% of the land with impervious surfaces, which is 1,055 square miles of impervious cover or 675,200 acres of impervious cover. During a one-inch rainfall event, 18.3 billion gallons of stormwater runs off these surfaces. Many of these impervious surfaces are directly connected to our local waterways, meaning that every drop of rain that lands on these surfaces drains directly to a stream, river, lake or bay without any treatment or having the opportunity to infiltrate into the soil. Pollutants accumulate on these impervious surfaces and are washed into New Jersey’s waterways during storm events. Additionally, these impervious surfaces prevent rainfall from infiltrating into the ground to replenish the state’s aquifers. Limited infiltration of rainwater results in reduced base flow to the local streams that rely on groundwater during the dry summer months.
Green infrastructure can be used to reduce the impacts from these impervious surfaces. Green infrastructure practices such as porous asphalt, bioretention systems, and rain gardens can be very effective at capturing, treating, and infiltrating stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces. Green infrastructure practices also can provide an opportunity to collect and use rainwater for non-potable uses. Many green infrastructure practices provide ancillary benefits such as providing pollinator habitat, sequestering carbon, reducing the heat island effect, and improving air quality.
Over the last several years, green infrastructure practices have been implemented across New Jersey. These projects have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness and resiliency of green infrastructure technologies. Water resources planning over the last 12 years has resulted in the creation of regional stormwater management plans, watershed restoration and protection plans, green infrastructure feasibility studies, and impervious cover reduction action plans. All of these plans are good tools to identify opportunities for retrofitting existing development with green infrastructure practices. Green infrastructure technology has proven to be a cost effective means to reduce the impacts of impervious surfaces. The final step is to further empower local communities to advocate for green infrastructure and to implement practices.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the conference is to educate stakeholders and engage them in addressing the impacts of stormwater runoff from impervious cover. The workshop will acknowledge on-going efforts by the Sustainable Raritan River Collaborative and showcase their work. It will also provide attendees an opportunity to network and develop new partnerships so they can better achieve the goal of a sustainable Raritan River Basin.
REGISTRATION: To register for this conference, please click here.
Registration will close at 11pm on Friday, February 19th!
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