Communities Make the Switch to Natural Infrastructure

A rise in development and impervious surfaces is forcing rivers and streams to carry unfiltered stormwater runoff to New Hampshire’s Great Bay, where the runoff is contributing to declining fisheries and increasing amounts of invasive algae. To reduce pollutant loads, the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve worked with partners to help New Hampshire communities adopt “green infrastructure” techniques. Instead of “piping and ponding,” this approach allows runoff to mimic the natural water cycle. The excess water soaks into the ground, where it is filtered of pollutants before returning to the aquifer. (2016)

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Partners: Antioch University New England, City of Portsmouth, City of Rochester, Geosyntec Consultants, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, New Hampshire Coastal Adaptation Workgroup, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, Rockingham Planning Commission, Seacoast Stormwater Coalition, Southeast Watershed Alliance, Strafford Regional Planning Commission, Town of Brentwood, Town of Durham, Town of Exeter, Town Stratham, University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center