Kimberly Walsh

Mitigating Stormwater Pollution to Improve Water Quality of the Chesapeake Bay

"Storm water pollution is a serious issue that is often hidden from sight and affects the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2010, the EPA issued the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load, effectively establishing a “pollution diet” for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment discharges to surface waters that the six Chesapeake Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia must meet by 2025. The Maryland Department of the Environment determined that storm water runoff contributes about 18 percent of the nitrogen and 22 percent of the phosphorus loads flowing to the bay. In order for Maryland to follow its “pollution diet,” the state's plans call for improvements to storm water management practices. The purpose of the law is to establish the local means and dedicated funding source to implement local storm water management plans in the heavily developed areas of Maryland. Prince George's County is one of 10 designated counties and Greenbelt, Maryland, is affected by this legislation.

The project purpose is to partner with Greenbelt commercial businesses, religious organizations, and private residents to proactively manage storm water runoff and pollution on-site. Organized workshops will be offered with the public works department to feature rain-harvesting techniques including increasing urban tree canopy, installation of rain gardens, rain barrels, cisterns, permeable pavement, and green roofs.

The conservation goal is to improve the water quality of the largest estuary in North America. The Chesapeake Bay is home to more than 3,600 species of plants and animals. The people goal is education about small, affordable solutions to storm water pollution with engaged responsibility to conserve clean water."

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