Plans To Enhance Stormwater Resources for Homeowners
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay has been awarded a Small Watershed Grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to build upon its popular Reduce Your Stormwater website beginning in 2015.
The original website was designed by Alliance staff to assist homeowners throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in addressing stormwater-related issues on their property. The site includes information and do-it-yourself instructions on a variety of stormwater best management practices (BMPs) which homeowners can utilize on their own property. The benefits of stormwater BMPs for residents throughout the watershed are plentiful; many offer nice aesthetic boosts, build habitat for butterflies and birds, increase property value, and, of course, help improve local water quality.
Native plants add beauty, functionality and a sense of place to home gardens.
The new Reduce Your Stormwater Program will build off this website and provide additional assistance to homeowners who are interested in taking care of stormwater on their property. The program includes focusing on two target watersheds in the Chesapeake Bay region: the Yellow Breeches Watershed in Pennsylvania and the Middle James River Watershed in Virginia. The program will:
- Conduct community-based social marketing campaigns in each of the watersheds to engage residents in implementing rain gardens and BayScapes on private property
- Use existing resources to improve the current Reduce Your Stormwater website to act as a platform for social marketing and the resource where homeowners can develop rain garden and BayScape plans specific to their property, apply for installation funding, and follow-up for reporting and monitoring.
- Conduct technical assistance training workshops for local conservation-oriented partners in the watersheds to build capacity of these groups and secure continued implementation of BMPs.
- Provide $100,000 to residents for rain gardens and BayScapes installation on their properties in the targeted watersheds.
This program is a collaborative effort of the Alliance’s regional offices, as well as our local partners in the targeted watershed. The tools and resources tied into the Reduce Your Stormwater website will be applicable to residents, non-profits, and any other organization interested in residential stormwater BMPs within and beyond the Chesapeake Bay Watershed as a technical assistance hub and educational tool.