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Water: Green Infrastructure

What are EPA's Partners Doing to Support Green Infrastructure

EPA works with a diverse array of public and private partners to expand the implementation of green infrastructure. These partners include federal agencies, non-profit organizations, research institutions, professional organizations, and private sector entities.



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Green Infrastructure Collaborative
EPA is joining with federal agencies, NGOs, and other private sector entities to form a broad-based network of organizations interested in promoting and implementing green infrastructure. Known as the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, the network will help communities more easily implement green infrastructure.

Seven federal agencies have come together to support the Green Infrastructure Collaborative. These agencies have signed a Federal Letter of Support (PDF) (4 pp, 242K, About PDF) committing to specific actions to help promote green infrastructure. The cooperating agencies include the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Agency commitments include:

  • Technical assistance to provide on-the-ground support aimed at creating integrated green stormwater management and hazard mitigation plans.
  • Recognizing innovative green infrastructure projects.
  • Working with States to integrate ecosystems and transportation planning.
  • Incorporating green infrastructure practices into agency facilities or lands.
  • Emphasizing connections to green infrastructure in existing grant programs.
  • Distilling and broadly disseminating the best ideas and lessons learned from existing grant programs.

Over the coming weeks, EPA will work to engage a range of stakeholders in the Green Infrastructure Collaborative in order to align public and private knowledge and resources to promote green infrastructure.

Puzzle Pieces
Partner Organizations
On April 19, 2007, EPA and four national groups signed a Statement of Intent (PDF) (4 pp, 37K, About PDF) to promote green infrastructure as an environmentally preferable approach to stormwater management. The statement formalized a collaborative effort among EPA, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Association of States and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (now the Association of Clean Water Administrators), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Low Impact Development (LID) Center to assist state, city, and local governments in implementing and evaluating innovative and effective green infrastructure approaches.  Since 2007, American Rivers, the Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the US Water Alliance have also joined our coalition.  Below we provide a description of each organization and links to some of their recent work on green infrastructure.
  
American Rivers Logo
Founded in 1973, American Rivers is a conservation organization centered on the protection and restoration of America's rivers and streams.  American Rivers is a strong supporter of moving from a gray to green infrastructure focus.

   
ACWA Logo
The Association of Clean Water Administrators has been working since 1961 to protect the nation's waters.  It brings together state, interstate, and territorial clean water professionals to foster the exchange of ideas and strategies to advance national water protection.  ACWA recognizes green infrastructure in its Call for Change as a program that requires more support and attention as the United States moves into the 21st century.


Low Impact Development Center Logo
The Low Impact Development Center (LID Center) is a non-profit organization that combines land use planning and engineering principles to promote development that recreates pre-existing hydrologic site conditions.  The LID Center has worked extensively with the EPA and stakeholders to develop green infrastructure initiatives.  Their website includes a variety of resources for citizens, developers, business owners, and town and city planners, some of which are listed below.


  • Urban Design Tools - This site provides watershed managers with a new set of tools and techniques that can be used to meet regulatory and receiving water protection program goals for urban retrofits, re-development projects, and new development sites.
  • Rain Garden Design Templates – This site displays a series of rain garden, or bioretention, design templates that can be used by landscape architects, landscape contractors, and garden clubs.
NACWA Logo
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies has been at the forefront of efforts to advocate the use of green infrastructure as one way to address the nation's clean water challenges resulting from wet weather. NACWA regularly engages with Congress to promote green infrastructure applications for wet weather management and  secure greater investment in water infrastructure.

NRDC Logo
The Natural Resources Defense Council in one of the nation's largest environmental stakeholder groups and is a staunch supporter of green infrastructure. Their website includes a variety of reports, fact sheets, and case studies on the use of green infrastructure to protect and restore our nation's waters. 


WEF Logo
The Water Environment Federation is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals. WEF offers training on green infrastructure design and implementation through conferences and archived webcasts. WEF is also working with EPA to identify and overcome the barriers to green infrastructure.
 
water_alliance_logo
The U.S. Water Alliance is a non-profit organization working to promote holistic, watershed-based approaches to water quality and quantity challenges. Launched in 2008, the U.S. Water Alliance advances its mission through issue analysis; education and outreach; and recognition of national leaders.

 
  • Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference - The Urban Water Sustainability Leadership Conference challenges the environmental, technical, municipal and educational communities to think differently about sustainably managing limited urban water resources and resource recovery innovation.  The conference has become the focal point for the national dialogue on resource recovery and green infrastructure.
  • U.S. Water Prize - The United States Water Prize honors individuals, institutions, and organizations that have made an outstanding achievement in the advancement of sustainable solutions to our nation's water challenges.
Partnership Handshake
Partner Communities 
In April of 2011, EPA announced partnerships with 10 communities that have demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing water quality and community livability goals with green infrastructure. EPA coordinates with these partners to highlight effective approaches to implementing green infrastructure, and to share lessons learned with other interested communities. The fact sheets below recognize the achievements of these partner communities.
 

Signature
Signatories
In 2007 EPA developed a Statement of Support for Green Infrastructure (PDF) (3 pp, 120K, About PDF) recognizing the benefits of green infrastructure in mitigating sewer overflows, reducing stormwater pollution, and improving water quality while providing a range of additional benefits. About 100 organizations have signed the Statement of Support, and we continue to accept new endorsements from local and state governments, environmental groups, development groups, and other corporate entities interested in promoting green infrastructure. To view and connect with our current signatories, please see the list below.
 
To become a signatory, please send an e-mail to mittman.tamara@epa.gov, providing the following information:
Organization name;
Organization URL;
Contact name;
Contact mailing address;
Contact phone number;
Contact fax number;
and Contact e-mail address.
 
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