Coastal Training Program Hosts Stormwater Workshop

On Wednesday August 24, 2011 the Grand Bay NERR Coastal Training Program hosted “Beyond Pipe and Pond: A Research Based Approach to Stormwater Treatment Selection.” The workshop, led by James Houle from the University of New Hampshire’s Stormwater Center (UNHSC), covered a variety of stormwater treatment methods and reviewed their effectiveness based on long term monitoring data collected by the UNHSC (for more information about the UNH Stormwater Center click HERE).

Examples of local stormwater management research and Low Impact Design (LID) practices were an integral part of the workshop. Mark Woodrey, NERR Research Coordinator, kicked off the discussion by sharing results from Dauphin Island Sea Lab researchers Eric Sparks and Just Cebrian work on Juncus roemerianus at the NERR. The results demonstrated the effectiveness of the marsh plant at removing nutrients from stormwater runoff.

Christian Preus, a local Landscape Architect and owner of Christian Preus Landscape Architecture, discussed some of the LID principles incorporated into the sustainably designed neighborhood of Florence Gardens in Gulfport, Mississippi. Elements such as rain gardens and vegetated swales were seamlessly integrated into the landscape, providing lawns and open areas that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Mike Pepper, President of Bayou Concrete, rounded out the presentations discussing pervious concrete. His presentation incorporated a live porous concrete demonstration and examples from several projects in Mississippi and Alabama that highlighted the installation processes, general costs, and lessons learned.

The day concluded with an opportunity for the participants to apply what they learned. After breaking into teams the participants were provided with plans for a building site and asked to evaluate the design and make suggestions to improve the stormwater treatment methods. Each team successfully worked through the challenge and finished up by sharing their ideas with the whole group.


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