Grand Rapids, Mich., is working with Stormwater Currency to implement nature-based solutions with benefits that outweigh the cost of solely reducing stormwater. The city's Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and John Ball Zoo have installed everything from green rooftops and garden walls to permeable walkways.
Dredging the Vermilion River in Louisiana to a depth of eight or nine feet would spare only 175 homes in Lafayette and cost $150 million, according to a study by the Army Corps of Engineers and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dredging "would help to a certain extent some hundreds of homes but not the thousands of homes, the 7,300 homes in this area that were impacted by the 2016 floods," said Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La.
Ogdensburg, N.Y., suffered severe shoreline damage from storms in 2017 and 2019, but more than $8 million in funding spread over four projects is being used to address those losses and protect against future flooding. Work is not expected to begin until next year on the projects, which include replacement of an existing wall system where the St. Lawrence River and Oswegatchie River meet.
Trees are natural "speed bumps" that slow stormwater runoff before it enters waterways and potentially harms ecosystems, writes Anna Reh-Gingerich of the Heal Our Waterways program in Wilmington, N.C. Trees are just one natural solution people can use to keep pollution from entering two local creeks, she writes, adding that some nearby homeowners may qualify for free trees through the program.
Engineers are using a 1/65th-scale model of a section of the Mississippi River in Louisiana to test the efficacy of a diversion project to support coastal restoration. The $4 million model will test levee gates that could divert river water with sand, clay and sediment to eroded wetlands.
A proposed stormwater runoff fee assessed according to the amount of impervious surface on an owner's property was rejected last year in Winchester, Mass. The city is now considering several alternatives, including imposing a stormwater fee and increasing water and sewer rates.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has indefinitely postponed work on a multiyear study of nature-based and engineering projects for the New York City region to guard against rising seas and storm surges. "This is a devastating blow to our region and its ability to become resilient and defend itself against extreme storms," said Robert Freudenberg, vice president of energy and environment programs at the Regional Plan Association in New York.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is developing limits for phosphorus runoff known as "total maximum daily load," but observers say the rules won't sufficiently reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie because they don't address agricultural pollution. If a voluntary incentive program promoted by Gov. Mike DeWine doesn't solve the problem, advocates may ask a judge to regulate agricultural runoff under the Clean Water Act, says Frank Szollosi of the National Wildlife Federation.
Canada's Metlakatla First Nation will receive about $561,000 in funding from British Columbia to guard infrastructure against coastal erosion. The money represents the latest distribution from approximately $30 million allocated for communities battling natural emergencies throughout the province.
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An empty canvas is a living wonder -- far lovelier than certain pictures.
Wassily Kandinsky, painter, art theorist, pioneer of abstract art
The International Erosion Control Association (IECA) is the world's oldest and largest non-profit, member organization that provides education, resource information and business opportunities for professionals who specialize in natural resource protection. For more information about IECA, please visit www.ieca.org.