Low Impact Development Good for the Environment, Good for Communities

Two South Carolina research reserves are leading efforts to protect water quality and decrease flooding by promoting low impact development practices. The recommended stomrwater management practices mimic natural hydrology by employing water infiltration, evaporation, and reuse. An added benefit: this approach is not only better for the environment, but is usually more economical than traditional stormwater management techniques.

The two reserves, ACE Basin and North Inlet-Winyah Bay, were leaders in the development of a manual, Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: A Planning and Design Guide, and delivered training on its contents. The project team also created a data analysis tool that municipalities and engineering firms are using to compute stormwater runoff volumes. The new assets are preparing local governments to meet water volume reductions required for a new, national stormwater permit. Several engineering firms are using the tools and information to verify runoff-volume reductions in their design plans, and coastal counties are using the guide to update stormwater management plans. (2016)

More Information: northinlet.sc.edu/LID

Partners: ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve, North-Inlet Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Center for Watershed Protection, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, Office for Coastal Management