YouTube Presentations & Workshops To Accelerate Restoration of Your Favorite Waters

Big Six Pollution Sources

The title slide from the Big Six Pollution Sources training presentation

CEDS has uploaded three narrated presentations to YouTube that would allow both volunteers and watershed organization staff to quickly learn how to:

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BMP Coops & Watershed Groups: A Solution to the Stormwater Maintenance Dilemma?

Well maintained stormwater ponds can be valuable assets to homeowner association members. Photo courtesy of Foster Lake & Pond Management  www.FosterLake.com

Well maintained stormwater ponds can be valuable assets to homeowner association members. Photo courtesy of Foster Lake & Pond Management http://www.FosterLake.com

THE PROBLEM:  There may be 100,000 stormwater ponds and other Best Management Practices (BMPs) throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  While no one knows for certain, lack of maintenance may have caused a substantial portion to fail.  If this is true then large quantities of pollution are needlessly entering the Bay and her tributary waters.  Most BMPs are privately owned and maintained.  In some jurisdictions a staff of inspectors visit each BMP every three years or so.  These visits help the owner understand the importance of the BMP and maintenance needs.  The owner is then provided with a list of contractors who have the expertise and equipment needed to resolve any maintenance issues.   Most issues are resolved quickly without the need for enforcement action. Continue reading

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Restoring 4600 Miles of Maryland Degraded Waters & the Stormwater Fee

Darkest red areas have the most intense development and the most stormwater-polluted waters; yet all could be restored with the stormwater fee.

Darkest red areas have the most intense development and the most stormwater-polluted waters; yet all could be restored with the stormwater fee.

Though no Maryland home is more than a 15-minute walk from the nearest waterway, the waters closest to 70% of us are unfit for our use due to stormwater pollution and related impacts.  The stormwater fee could restore many of these waters in a few decades.  Imagine, residents of the poorest neighborhoods in Baltimore City, Frederick or College Park being able to wade, fish or swim in neighborhood waters without fear of contracting a disease.  But achieving this and many other benefits depends upon the fee and spending the funds very wisely.  It also depends upon achieving a high level of compliance with Maryland’s new Environmental Site Design (ESD) requirements.  It is for these reasons that the Maryland General Assembly must not rescind the stormwater fee law. Continue reading

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Maximizing Stormwater Benefits Via Citizen-State-EPA Oversight

The waters closest to the homes in the darker brown areas are degraded by stormwater pollution and are likely unfit for any human uses.

The 13,000 miles of waters closest to the homes in the brown areas are degraded by stormwater pollution and are likely unfit for any human uses.

The stormwater runoff from suburban-urban lands degrades 13% of the 100,000 miles of waterways making up the Chesapeake Bay system.  This figure could be growing by another 400 miles annually due to new development.  However, all six Bay watershed states and the District of Columbia have adopted innovative methods of managing stormwater that could bring a halt to the annual loss and actually restore waters once thought lost forever.  However, there are a number of If’s that could easily derail future progress.  A major if is whether citizens, the states and EPA will provide the oversight needed to keep progress going. Continue reading

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Gas Station Blight: Is A Needs Test A Solution For Your Area

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Abandoned gas stations can blight a neighborhood for years

This month marks the 100th anniversary since the first modern gas station opened in the USA.   Today there’s nearly 153,000 stations nationwide, but they’re closing at the alarming rate of 2500 per year!

A substantial number of the closures are due to the proliferation of  the combination gas station, convenience store and even service bays.  These businesses are usually part of regional or national chains which can negotiate unbranded gasoline purchases at a price far lower than independent stations, many of which must purchase branded gas. Continue reading

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Survey Shows Watershed Groups Halt Substantial Local & Bay Pollution

Learn how to identify and correct watershed pollution at the November 19th CEDS workshop

Learn how to identify and correct pollution sources in your watershed at the November 19th CEDS workshop

An amazing 82% of watershed groups have engaged in at least one activity to halt pollution affecting their waterway and the Bay.  More than half the time they succeeded in reducing pollution inputs.

These are two of the principle findings from a survey conducted by Community & Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) to determine the extent to which nonprofit watershed advocacy groups are seeking to identify and correct the leading causes of pollution within the Chesapeake Bay basin.  We also wanted to know of  factors that impede the efforts of these groups and that seem to keep many others from engaging in this critical activity. Continue reading

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County Perspective – Environmental Site Design

Bioretention – a highly-effective practice. Parking lot runoff enters at curb breaks and percolates down through the brown mulch for 70% – 95% pollutant removal.. Photo from Chesapeake Stormwater Network

In late 2010, Community & Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) conducted a survey of local stormwater review officials to learn how well Environmental Site Design (ESD) was working and how it could be improved.   We just repeated the survey with some very interesting results.  But before getting to that here’s a bit of history that might help put the results into context.

Six years ago, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed the Stormwater Management Act of 2007.  The Act required the use of an extremely promising approach to land development known as Environmental Site Design (ESD).  Unlike the prior approach, ESD required that consideration of sensitive environmental resources and stormwater management facilities occur at the beginning of site design.  ESD also required the use of practices more effective in protecting the suitability of our waters for childhood play, adult recreation, consumption and aquatic ecosystems.   In 2009, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) added a new Chapter 5, to the Maryland Stormwater Design Manual, which set forth how ESD was to be applied.  In May, 2010 the new ESD regulations took effect. Continue reading

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