Whenever it rains, all of that water from our roofs, driveways, parking lots and roads flows into our sewer system – picking up pollutants along the way. This untreated runoff is ultimately sent into our rivers, lakes and bays and other drinking water supplies.
Instead of solely relying on aging pipes and water treatment facilities, we can use natural solutions to effectively manage the water for us. Instead of creating more pipes, we can use nature to manage water for us. Techniques like rain gardens, bioswales, permeable pavement, and green roofs are part of “green infrastructure,” a planning and design approach that utilizes the natural systems of trees, plants and soil to clean and store the water, taking pressure off of our over-burdened communities.
Rep. Donna Edwards (MD) and Sen. Tom Udall (NM) have introduced a bill, The Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act, that will help communities invest in these sustainable technologies.
So far thousands of messages have been sent to Congress on behalf of the landmark Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act. Join activists from across the country and lend your voice in support of green infrastructure!
Support this important legislation. Contact your elected officials now.
Why is green infrastructure important:
Many communities around the country face a growing problem of old, deteriorating infrastructure such as the pipes and sewers used to manage rainwater.
The High Line, Section 1, New York
Photo: © Iwan Baan
Communities can save millions of dollars each year by utilizing techniques like green roofs and tree-planting.
Plants and microbes in the soil can break down many of the pollutants found in runoff, keeping chemicals out of our drinking water and watershed areas.
Green infrastructure also improves air quality, human health and even property values.
What’s in the legislation:
Provides grants to communities to help create green infrastructure projects.
Creates Centers of Excellence around the country to provide technical assistance to local governments and research on green infrastructure best practices.
Establishes a green infrastructure program within the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water to help promote and integrate green infrastructure into projects around the country.
US Composting Council
ASLA’s Green Infrastructure resource guide
ASLA Issue Brief
ASLA's Stormwater Case Studies
E.P.A.’s Green Infrastructure resources
Green Infrastructure Is Making Its Mark from Small Towns to Big Cities (American Rivers)
Green Roofs are Starting to Sprout in American Cities (Yale Environment 360)
Philadelphia’s Cutting Edge Green Infrastructure Program (The Dirt)
Portland’s Grey to Green Program
Text of the Green Infrastructure for Clean Water Act
Trees Grow in Brooklyn, A Natural Form of Relief for Overworked City Sewers. (The Economist)
Sign up for a green roof tour. Congressional staff are particularly encouraged
to come visit and see green infrastructure in action.
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