Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

RiverSmart

RiverSmart Homes Landscaping

The RiverSmart Homes Landscaping program helps to reduce stormwater runoff to improve the quality of local streams and waterways. Homeowners are also educated about stormwater issues and local contractors are trained to install conservation landscaping practices.

The RiverSmart Homes Landscaping program offers incentives to District of Columbia homeowners interested in reducing stormwater pollution from their properties.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay oversees the implementation of rain gardens and conservation landscaping (BayScapes) on private residences within the District of Columbia, as well as the education of participating homeowners on stormwater issues and the role they may play in alleviating stormwater runoff on their properties.

RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate Program

The RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate Program captures and treats stormwater on urban private properties to protect local waterways from pollution, while also prioritizing the function of hardscaped or landscaped spaces in the District of Columbia.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, in partnership with the District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), is offering rebates to qualifying District homeowners, business owners, and houses of worship who remove impervious surfaces and replace the areas with vegetation or permeable pavers.

An impervious surface is a ground area where water cannot soak through, such as paved driveways, patios, and parking lots. Permeable pavers are materials constructed and used with the purpose of allowing water to soak into the ground while still being used as driveways, patios, parking lots, etc.

Why Replace Impervious Surfaces?

Water cannot pass through impervious surfaces and soak into the soil below. When it rains, water flows over these hard surfaces collecting soil, litter, salt, pesticides, oil, fertilizers, and other pollutants, creating stormwater.

This stormwater drains into manmade drainage systems consisting of inlets and underground pipes commonly referred to as “storm sewers”. The majority of stormwater entering storm sewers does not receive any treatment before it enters the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek, and ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay.

Benefits of Permeable Pavers and Revegetation

Permeable Pavers and Revegetation have many benefits including:

  • Improving drainage in areas prone to flooding
  • Beautifying outdoor spaces
  • Decreasing stormwater runoff and erosion
  • Helping our local waterways, and thus the Chesapeake Bay
  • Enhancing stormwater runoff awareness

How to Apply

The Permeable Surface Rebate Program is now open and accepting new applications.

Please use this map to determine if your property qualifies for the rebate program.

Replacement of impervious surface with vegetation: $5.00 per s.f. of project area minimum project area is 200 s.f.

Replacement of impervious surface with permeable pavers: $10.00 per s.f. of project area minimum project area is 100 s.f.



Complete your rebate application and submit with required materials to: cstarobin@allianceforthebay.org. It must include:

  • Before photos
  • Design sketch (before and after)
  • Maintenance Agreement, hand-signed (p. 4 of application form)
  • RiverSmart Rewards sign-up sheet (p. 5 of application form)

  • Obtain approval for construction from the Alliance (requires a pre-construction inspection unless property had DOEE Stormwater Audit)
  • Call Ms. Utility to ensure utilities will not be impacted
  • Install project using approved materials and design


Projects submitted retroactively may still be eligible for a RiverSmart Permeable Surface Rebate.

Please follow the above rebate process as it pertains to your project. You may choose to remove impervious areas yourself, or hire a contractor not included in the provided contractor list Permeable Surface Rebate Program Contractor List.

Please note that any contractor is eligible to remove impermeable surface through this program, but only those with the PICP Record of Completion are eligible to install permeable pavers.

Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrels

The RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrels program helps to reduce stormwater runoff to improve the quality of local streams and waterways. Homeowners are also educated about stormwater issues and local contractors are trained to install rain barrels.

The RiverSmart Homes Rain Barrel program offers incentives to District of Columbia homeowners interested in reducing stormwater pollution from their properties.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay oversees the implementation of rain barrels on private residences within the District of Columbia, as well as the education of participating homeowners on stormwater issues and the role they may play in alleviating stormwater runoff on their properties. Please see the Rain Barrel Resource and FAQ Sheet for more information.

Need Advice On How to Maintain Your Green Space?

The RiverSmart Maintenance Assistance Program (RSMAP) assists property owners with the maintenance of their installed RiverSmart rain gardens and BayScapes.

Learn More