RiverWise Communities

Piloted successfully over the last few years, RiverWise Communities aims to develop a comprehensive approach to achieving stormwater reductions on private property through green practices. Beginning in 2006, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay successfully partnered with the Reedy Creek Coalition, in Richmond, VA, to develop a holistic stormwater management and habitat improvement program in the Reedy Creek Watershed, which laid the framework for the RiverWise Communities program.

RiverWise Communities

The RiverWise program enables homeowners and businesses in Richmond and Harrisburg to reduce stormwater runoff by making important changes to how they manage their properties. Starting with an assessment of a property, our trained volunteers help landowners see how they can dramatically improve local water quality by using rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavement, BayScapes and trees.

By working with local governments, financial incentive programs can help home and business owners reduce the cost of installing their new landscape. Measuring the results of these improvements can help governments meet some of their water quality goals as well.


Cost-share Available in Richmond, VA

Richmond residents are eligible for cost-share funding to install trees, rain gardens, rain barrels, conservation landscaping, impervious removal, and permeable pavers.

The form to apply for cost-share is available here.

Cost-share Outside of Richmond, VA

Check with your local municipality for similar programs. If you live in Virginia the Soil and Water Conservation Districts have a similar program called the Virginia Conservation Assistance Program.

RiverWise Manual

The Alliance extended the RiverWise Communities Program by developing a manual to organize and share resources with other governments and NGOs. This manual helps programs that seek to increase awareness and environmental stewardship and to motivate people to do their part – adopt and maintain more environmentally and water friendly landscapes and stormwater best management practices on their own properties and in their communities.

Reduce Your Stormwater Website

This website is dedicated to helping homeowners and businesses take charge of stormwater runoff by guiding citizens to steps they can take to eliminate runoff and potential pollution from their property and to improve their local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay. The easy to use information is targeted to homeowners or small businesses and includes helpful hints, technical specifications, illustrations, videos and other valuable resources.

Visit the website at

Stormwater Sentries

RiverWise Communities

Stormwater Sentries is an online stormwater game that promotes awareness of the environmental impact from stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay by demonstrating the impact our decisions on private property have on local stream health.

The Alliance wanted to create a fun and engaging experience to educate the community on how to make wiser environmental decision that improve water quality. Players take on challenges, complete missions, earn money and work to create a sustainable neighborhood designed to reduce stormwater runoff.

The game went live on April 10, 2014 and is available on Facebook.

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Nissa Dean Virginia State Director, Virginia Office

Nissa is the Alliance's Virginia State Director, where she oversees program staff, and manages a variety of projects, all relying heavily on local partnerships that leverage resources to implement green infrastructure and improve local water quality.

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