In mid-November, the Alliance and the University of Maryland’s Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center kicked off a series of three virtual stormwater training sessions for local decision makers. “Getting the MOST for Local Leaders in Stormwater Solutions” aims to arm communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia with innovative strategies to combat challenges around stormwater management. For more information about this project and its partners, please check out the advisory blog here.

State leaders welcomed participants and shared thoughts about the importance of managing stormwater at the local level.. 

Secretary Ben Grumbles, Maryland Department of the Environment, urged Maryland to consider communication methods as stormwater initiatives develop. “In the world of stormwater, the dividends pay off when you have an approach to identifying the diversity of the people who are contributing to it,” he explained. Grumbles mentioned the significance of community members understanding the importance of these management strategies just as much as the local decision makers who initiate them.

“Elected officials are important to this project as you believe in clean water for your communities and are a catalyst for change,” Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Ann Jennings, encouraged. While enhancing knowledge capacity for local officials is important, Jennings also reminded Virginia of the importance of building this knowledge base among their staff in order to internalize this information into the future.

To the Pennsylvania cohort, Deputy Executive Director Brion Johnson of PENNVEST, expressed the concern of tackling stormwater challenges ahead of time. “The folks that are thinking about [municipal separate storm sewer systems] and trying to address those issues now are going to be head and shoulders above everybody that is waiting in the wings…by trying to set this up now, by trying to plan now, you’re doing the right thing.”

Participants from 15 local governments across the watershed will have the opportunity to connect with the MOST Center online courses, technical assistance providers, and other local leaders as they find solutions to navigating sustainable stormwater practices according to their unique needs.

This pilot project will be the first of many possible training opportunities for local officials to expand their knowledge of water resource issues. We thank our partners involved and we wish success to all those who participate