Green Infrastructure Success Stories

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Durham’s subsurface gravel wetland system green infrastructure project

In 2014, Strafford Regional Planning Commission received funding from the UNH Stormwater Center to conduct outreach and planning relative to green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is a way of mitigating harmful effects of  stormwater runoff by encouraging municipalities and citizens to use vegetation, soils and natural process to filter stormwater before it’s emptied into nearby water bodies ¹ (Click here² for an example of green infrastructure projects that provide filtration for stormwater runoff.)

The funding supported SRPC in their work with the communities in soliciting green infrastructure projects. In the second round of project solicitation SRPC assisted Rochester, Dover, and Durham in submitting proposals to the UNH Stormwater Center. Both Durham and Rochester were chosen as green infrastructure implementation communities. In the Town of Durham a stormwater retrofit project was installed on Oyster River Road that replaced a stormwater outfall in a residentail neighborhood . In the Rochester, city staff, in partnership with Rob Roseen of Geosyntec, completed a regulatory audit and updated their stormwater regulations using the Southeast Watershed Alliance’s model ordinance. Jamie Houle, program manager for the UNH Stormwater Center, explained the importance of these types of projects sharing, “As communities become more dense, stormwater needs more sophisticated management.With these grants, we can help communities manage stormwater in ways that have multiple benefits, which could include reduced flooding resulting in a decrease in damage to infrastructure and property, and supporting communities to meet regulatory requirements.”³

SRPC created two project fact sheets for the Rochester and Durham projects highlighting the projects as case studies. These resources can be used throughout the region for other communities looking to implement similar projects. The fact sheets were distributed to the communities and have been posted on the SRPC website.

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This blog post was written using the following sources:

¹ http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/gi_what.cfm

² http://webpages.uidaho.edu/larc380/index.html

³ http://www.unh.edu/news/releases/2012/nov/bp14stormwater.cfm