From a Press Release issued by Save the Sound.
Think there's nothing you can do to stop rain water from carrying pollutants and pesticides from streets and yards into rivers and Long Island Sound? You might be surprised by the number of ways that homeowners can help stem this particular tide.
Save the Sound, a program of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and the University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research's (CLEAR) Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program launched its new green infrastructure website, www.ReduceRunoff.org.
The new website is designed to assist Connecticut homeowners in reducing the harmful effects of stormwater runoff.
“Stormwater is one of the most serious water quality problems facing Long Island Sound,” said Kierran Broach, volunteer and outreach coordinator for Save the Sound. “Rain causes flooding and sewage overflows and carries pollutants into near-by waterbodies, but it doesn’t have to be so destructive. Green infrastructure solutions like rain gardens filter stormwater and curb sewage overflows while saving money and enhancing communities. ReduceRunoff.org will help residents do their part to protect the Sound.”
Currently, rain running off our roads, parking lots, and roofs can overwhelm the sewer systems of older, combined sewer overflow communities resulting in releases of raw sewage. In other communities, it floods streets and carries fertilizers and pesticides into rivers and the Sound.
This pollution forces summer beach closings, and make it hard for shellfishermen to earn a living. According to state data, many rivers and shoreline waters fail to meet key water quality standards because of stormwater.
But common sense solutions can help protect our waters. Innovative green infrastructure concepts like rain gardens, rain barrels, downspout disconnections, permeable pavers, and green roofs, can help naturally manage stormwater, limit raw sewage discharges, reduce flooding risk and improve water quality.
Major cities like Portland, Kansas City, Philadelphia and New York are working to promote the use of green infrastructure; ReduceRunoff.org is designed relay the lessons-learned from those cities by helping Connecticut residents green their neighborhoods while reducing pollution statewide.
“DEEP is very happy to provide the funding to Save the Sound for this innovative and creative effort to protect and expand drinking water supplies in the Quinnipiac River Watershed Project,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “The unique approach of capturing rainwater runoff by working with towns and residents to build rain gardens will not only replenish the area’s groundwater but will also foster partnerships that can be expanded to other environmental projects. We applaud Save the Sound for their efforts.”