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NOTE: WREN has a NEW Website at www.waterwisepa.org, and as of March 2014, this site is no longer being maintained. Please go to our current website for local project information, and educational resources. Thank you.



Climate Change | Drinking Water | General Water | Watershed - Stormwater | Water Pollution | Groundwater  | Smart Growth, Land Use and Water  | Invasive Plants | Social Marketing

Watershed - Stormwater

Please go to Chesapeake Stormwater Network for many helpful Stormwater Technical Guides and resources geared to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Click on Image to Access Publications

The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds (April 2012 -4 pg PDF)

U.S. EPA released a fact sheet describing the economic benefits of protecting healthy watersheds by highlighting examples from existing peer-reviewed literature and studies.

Excerpt: "The United States has spent on average $1 billion per year on stream restoration since1990. These numbers are expected to rise as communities work to mitigate environmental problems. Restoration efforts are less successful without a supporting ecological network of healthy watersheds. Protect-ing highly functioning aquatic ecosystems is a cost-effective way to sustainably provide the multi-tude of services required to meet society’s needs. Studies show that the total economic value of intact systems exceeds that of lands converted for intensive economic uses over time."

Home owners guide  

A Homeowner's Guide for Stormwater Management (2006 - 30 pages)
This guide provides you with the steps and actions you can take to improve stormwater management on your property or in your community. These stormwater management projects will not only help protect our invaluable drinking water sources, but they will help green the city, restore our waterways and improve quality of life for all residents.

Green Guide to Property Management  

new The Green Guide for Property Management (2012, 28 pages)
Developed under a 2011-2012 WREN Grant by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary and partners, The Green Guide for Property Management provides suggestions and ideas for large property owners to reduce stormwater pollution from their properties. With examples of four different sites, the Guide illustrates fourteen property management practices with attractive photos and diagrams.
Examples of projects range from low-cost ponds, rain gardens or wetlands to long term investments like green roofs, porous paving, underground storage tanks and more. The complete 28 pg illustrated guide can be downloaded here: Green Guide for Property Management

The Project also developed a Powerpoint presentation that is meant to accompany the guide. Download PPT Here.

The photos and graphics from the guide are also available individually for download for education and outreach activities. To select a particular photo or graphic, click on one of the slideshows, find the image you want, right click and select the size, and then select download. Download photos. Problems? Please email tdavidock@DelawareEstuary.org.


A Guide to Stormwater Management on School Campuses (20 pages)
Tools that your school can use to improve the health of your watershed. Covers: Container Gardens, rain barrels, rain gardens, tree plantings, wildflower meadows, streamside buffers, maintenance of lawns and gardens, vehicle washing, vehicle maintenance, winter de-icing.

Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond  

FInancing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond

(Publication Date: 2/15/12 - 37 pgs) Philadelphia encourages property owners to install green infrastructure techniques with a flagship stormwater billing structure that includes a significant credit (up to nearly 100 percent) for non-residential owners if they manage to keep the first inch of rainfall on their property rather than letting it runoff into storm drains.

This report -- a joint product of NRDC's Water Program and Center for Market Innovation -- uses Philadelphia as a test case to explore how cities can attract billions of dollars in private investment in stormwater retrofits, saving on public infrastructure costs while cleaning waterways and greening communities. Drawing lessons from the energy efficiency finance sphere, it explains how Philadelphia’s stormwater billing structure lays the groundwork for innovative financing mechanisms that can underwrite the capital costs of green infrastructure retrofits. The report provides recommendations for local and state officials, as well as private firms, to stimulate investment.


Residential Runoff -- Slow It Down, Keep It Clean

(National Environmental Services Center, 2010, 8 pp)

Winter 2010 issue of Pipeline newsletter with coverage of runoff issues and links to other publications.


Landowner Guide to Buffer Success  

Landowner Guide to Buffer Success

(Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 28 pp, 2010)

A comprehensive seasonal guide for your forested buffer project


Stormwater design Guidelines for Karst Terrain in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Version 2.0

(Chesapeake Stormwater Network, 39 pgs. 2009)

This stormwater design supplement has been prepared for engineers, plan reviewers, and public works officials to guide better stormwater decisions when land is developed in karst regions of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Until now, available local and state guidance on this topic has been uneven, sometimes conflicting and certainly not comprehensive. An informal working group has spent the last year developing this guide.
It is intended that the Technical Bulletin can be incorporated directly or by reference into local and state land development codes, ordinances, regulations, permits and engineering manuals in the Bay watershed that govern how stormwater is managed in karst terrain. The supplement has been designed as an evolving document so that it can be updated over time to reflect new research, experience and project implementation.

Green Infrastructure  

Green Infrastructure

(National Association of Counties, 4 pp, 2009)

A short description of green infrastructure and useful links for more info

Creating Susainable Community Parks  

Creating Sustainable Community Parks

(PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources, 80 pp, 2007)

A guide to improving quality of life by protecting natural resources

From Neat to Natural  

From Neat to Natural

(PA Township News, 11 pp, 2010)

Township parks are getting a green makeover


Sustainable Stormwater  

Sustainable Stormwater - How to manage stormwater as a resource not a waste product

(PA Borough News, 3 pp, 2010)

What boroughs can do to safely manage stormwater


Water Data and Monitoring as Indispensable Tools  

Water Data and Monitoring as Indispensable Tools to Manage Water Quality

(Bureau of National Affairs, Daily Environment article by Tracy Meehan, 8 pp, 2010)

water data and monitoring, both as to quantity and quality, are
key to watershed restoration


Sustainable Design and Green Building Toolkit for Local Governments

(EPA90-904B10001, 92 pp, 2010)

developed to assist local governments in identifying and removing barriers to sustainable design and green building within their permitting process.

Also available at: http://www.epa.gov/region4/recycle/green-building-toolkit.pdf


Gray to Green - Jumpstarting Private Investment
in Green Stormwater Infrastructure

(Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, 40 pp, 2010)

outlines strategies that will help ensure that green stormwater infrastructure becomes a vital part of Philadelphia’s future development and prosperity.

Also available at: http://www.sbnphiladelphia.org/02-17-10_Stormwater.pdf/


Preserving Forests - Protecting Waterways

(PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, October 2009, 20 pp.)

Policies to protect Pennsylvania’s natural heritage from the threat of natural gas drilling


Chesapeake clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act

The Chesapeake Clean Water and Ecosystem Restoration Act of 2009
(HR 3852/S 1816)

(Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2009, 2 pp.)

A background fact sheet on new legislation to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Delaware River Basin 2008 Report

State of the Delaware River Basin 2008 Report

Green Roof

Green Roofs for Stormwater Control

(US EPA, EPA/600/R-09/026, 2009, 80 pp)

  • Reports on a project at Penn State University to evaluate green roofs as a stormwater management tool. Specifically, runoff quantity and quality from green and flat asphalt roofs were compared. The work was carried out by the Penn State Green Roof Center of The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, PA.
  • pdf file

Implementing Green Infrastructure: Developing a Winning Strategy to Fund Philadelphia’s Ambitious Visions

( Economy League of Greater Philadelphia for PA Environmental Council, 2009)

identifies immediate and long term strategies to fund green infrastructure.


Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure - Action Strategy 2008

(American Rivers, Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Low Impact Development Center,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2008, 38pp)

a strategic plan for implementing green infrastructure initiatives


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Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century

(Sprawl Watch Clearinghouse Monograph Series, 36 pp)

a framework that provides a strategic approach to land conservation

Bad Water 2009: The Impact on Human Health in the Chesapeake Bay Region

Bad Water 2009: The Impact on Human Health in the Chesapeake Bay Region

(Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 26 pp, 2009)

Links pollution to human health risks and calls on the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act now to reduce that pollution and the potential threats to human health.

Rain Barrels: A Homeowner's Guide

Rain Barrels - A Homeowners Guide

( Southwest Florida Water Management District, 128 pp, 2009)

A well illustrated how-to guide for homeowners.


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Incorporating Environmentally Sensitive Development into Municpal Stormwater Programs


Incorporating Environmentally Sensitive Development into Municipal Stormwater Programs

(US EPA, Region III, 7 pp, 2009)

Help on using low impact development practices to meet stormwater goals.

Also see:

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Municipal Stormwater Programs,

Jan 2008 -  6 pp.

Understanding Impaired waters and Total Maximum Daily Load Requirements for Municipal Stormwater Program, Jan 2008 - 5 pp.

Funding Stormwater Programs - January 2008 - 5 pp.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Municipal Stormwater Programs Understanding Impaired Waters Funding Stormwater Programs

Using Economic Incentives to Manage Stormwater Runoff in the Shepherd Creek Watershed

Using Economic Incentives to Manage Stormwater Runoff in the Shepherd Creek Watershed, Part I

(US EPA, 65 pp, 2008)

Describes a "reverse auction" to give homeowners incentives to install rain gardens and rain barrels; also describes monitoring water quality improvements to measure the effectiveness of the program.


Urban Stormwater Management report

Urban Stormwater Management in the United States

Report in Brief from the National Academies of Science

(National Research Council, 4 pp, 2008)

More needs to be done to control urban stormwater run-off


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The Scientific Imperative for Defending Small Streams and Wetlands

The Scientific Imperative for Defending Small Streams and Wetlands

(Sierra Club, 28 pp, 2003)

Summarizes the scientific basis for understanding that the health and productivity
of rivers and lakes depends upon intact small streams and wetlands.

Health Benefits of Parks thumbnail

The Health Benefits of Parks: How Parks Help Keep Americans

and Their Communities Fit and Healthy
(Trust for Public Lands, 24 pp, 2007)

Rain Gardens -- a Design Manual for Homeowners in Connecticut

RAIN Gardens - A Design Manual for Homeowners in Connecticut
(Univ of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System , 12 pp,

A comprehensive, well illustrated guide for homeowners



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Social Marketing

Getting Your Feet Wet with Social Marketing: A Social Marketing Guide for Watershed Programs

(Utah Dept of Agriculture and Food, 2007, 140 pp)

- designed to teach individuals or groups how to successfully promote behavior changes in their local area to targeted groups of people. Though this guide specifically addresses soil and water conservation and water quality efforts, it is based on principles that can be used in any aspect of society.


Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) - A Watershed Planning Tool For Counties

(National Association of Counties, 2006, 14 pp)
Provides help navigating the US Environmental Protection Agency's Total Maximum Daily Load Program.


After the Storm– A Citizen's Guide to Understanding Stormwater (USEPA, 2003, EPA 833-B-03-002, 8p brochure)
Pictures and text to describe stormwater pollution solutions.

Backyard Buffers

Backyard Buffers
(Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, 2003, 5 pp.)
If you own property along a stream, river, lake, or wetland, then you could be the proud owner of a backyard buffer. Learn all about buffer in the publication.


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Establishment of Riparian and Shoreline Buffers and the Taxation of Property Included in Buffers
Rhode Island Rivers Council, 2005, 12 pp) Recommendations for state programs to improve riparian buffer protection.

From the Woods: Watersheds

From the Woods: Watersheds

(Penn State Cooperative Extension, 2001, 4 pp)

An educational  brochure about forestry for youths

Getting in Step

Getting in Step: Engaging and Involving Stakeholders in Your Watershed
(US EPA, 2003, 75 pp)
Information on how to generate participation in watershed assessment, planning and management.


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Parking Spaces

Parking Spaces / Community Places: Finding the Balance Through Smart Growth Solutions

(US EPA 231-K-06-01, 2006,  70 pp.)

Discusses costs of parking, innovative alternatives and provides case studies that go beyond generic requirements.

Protecting Water Resources with Higher Density Development

Protecting Water Resources With Higher Density Development

(US EPA 231-R-06-01, 2006, 46 pp)

Development that uses land efficiently and protects undisturbed land allows a community to grow and still protect its water resources.

Using Smart Growth Techniques as Stormwater Best Management Practices

Using Smart Growth Techniques as Stormwater Best Management Practices

(US EPA 231-B-05-002, 2005, 112 pp.)

Discusses stormwater as the nexus between land development patterns and water quality and quantity, and gives specific development techniques  that serve as BMPs.


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Water Quality Antidegradation Implementation Guidance
(PA DEP, 2003, 134 pp)
Manual for DEP staff and the public on implementing the state’s Antidegradation program.



We All Live Downstream - A Homeowners' Guide

(PA Chesapeake Bay Office and the Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District)
This residential guide contains practical information which will aid homeowners in the economical care and maintenance of their property while protecting nearby streams.   This publication can be modified to fit your area, or specific messages.

Word Version
HTML Version
PDF Version


West Branch Susquehanna Sub-Basin Survey, A Water Quality and Biological Assessment, July-Nov 2002 (Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 2003, 20 pp) Identifies healthy and polluted watersheds in the Basin.


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