Your donation can help secure a $15,000 challenge grant to expand stormwater prevention projects in our cities and towns.
A newly released federal permit is focused on preventing polluted stormwater runoff, and NepRWA wants to capitalize on this opportunity by expanding outreach, advocacy and technical assistance for our cities and towns, but to implement our plan, we must raise an additional $30,000 this fall.
Two local families have offered a generous challenge grant to help us reach a $30,000 goal: for every dollar of new or increased support we can raise before year end, they will match it one-for-one with an increase of their own.
Double Your Impact
If you’ve never been a member or a donor before, or you haven’t given in a few years (2016 or earlier) this is your moment to shine. Anything you can contribute before year end will be doubled and will help us expand our stormwater program in 2019. $10 becomes $20, $50 becomes $100, $250 becomes $500. Or start a small monthly sustainer donation of $4, $6, $9 or more, and our challengers will match your first 12 monthly gifts!
For our current members and donors who have given in 2017 or 2018: Thank You! You are the bedrock of all NepRWA’s efforts to protect, restore and open up the Neponset for local families! Please join our challengers and stretch your support to the next level with an extra donation this fall. Our challengers will match any increase you make over last year’s total with an increase in their own support. One painless way to do this is by splitting your contributions into 12 small monthly sustainer gifts, and our challengers will match any increase in the total of your next 12 sustainer gifts.
The Stormwater Problem
Parking lots, rooftops and other “impervious surfaces” are major contributors to one of the Neponset’s biggest problems: “stormwater.”
When rain hits pavement and other man-made surfaces, it runs off into storm drains, carrying oil, sand, fertilizer and dog poop right to the river without treatment.
That water runs off very fast, which causes flooding problems. Because it runs off instead of soaking into the ground naturally, it no longer replenishes the underground water reserves that feed the river in the dry summer months and feed our drinking water sources year round.
All these problems come under the banner of “stormwater” and all of them are becoming more serious as climate change causes more intense rainstorms, higher temperatures, and more frequent droughts.
The centerpiece of our stormwater strategy is the innovative Neponset Stormwater Partnership, which brings together 10 Neponset communities (so far) to share best practices and work together regionally on implementation tasks.
We plan to work with our cities and towns to:
- Roll out a first of its kind, regional public education campaign to get the word out to more than 100,000 households and students in every community.
- Update local stormwater bylaws and zoning codes to reflect best practices and new precipitation realities.
- Create tools to locate, evaluate and prioritize upgrades to inadequate stormwater infrastructure, and help communities seek grants and other funding sources to build them.
- Locate remaining sewer leaks and water pollution hotspots and get them repaired.
- Get the state to revise its outdated stormwater requirements (still based on 1960’s era rainfall data), and recognize that these rules are the Commonwealth’s most important climate adaptation tools for inland flooding, streamflow, and water supply sustainability.
- Help communities develop new funding mechanisms for stormwater improvements.
Implementing this ambitious plan will call on the skills of our Environmental Scientist, Water Resources Engineer, Advocacy Director and Outreach Director. The funding we hope to raise with your help will allow us to cover the cost of additional staff time, equipment and materials needed to expand the program.
An Innovator in Helping Our Communities
Fixing stormwater problems falls mainly to our local cities and towns and NepRWA has long been an innovator in helping our communities “step up their game” on stormwater. From creating the Neponset Stormwater Partnership with 10 participating communities, to helping communities upgrade aging stormwater infrastructure, find sewer leaks, get the word out to local residents, and modernize their stormwater bylaws and codes.
Other Ways to Help
In addition to supporting NepRWA’s stormwater campaign, you can help by:
- Take Action at Home: Make sure you are properly managing pet waste, fall leaves and lawn fertilizers, and consider adding a raingarden to your property. Learn more at YourCleanWater.org.
- Advocate for Stormwater in Your City or Town: Become an advocate for smart stormwater investments and policies with your town meeting or city council. Municipal leadership is critical. Consider volunteering with NepRWA as a municipal liaison.
- Advocate for Stormwater, and Climate Change at the State and Federal Level: While the work gets implemented in cities and towns, your state and federal officials set the ground rules. Tell your state and federal legislators to support increased investment in upgrading our stormwater infrastructure, and take steps to prevent and adapt to the impacts of climate change.