Bioswales: Unpaving the Way to Change

Our Lady Gate of HeavenOn March 12, a provision was successfully added to the Water Quality Investment Act of 2009 - one that includes a stormwater management feature that CNT has advocated for and demonstrated through projects like at “Our Lady Gate of Heaven”. By a vote of 317 to 101, legislation encouraging the use of bioswales and other sustainable stormwater management systems to improve the quality of stormwater runoff was added into H.R. 1262.

CNT Natural Resources program manager, Steve Wise, adds that “Green infrastructure is already central to federal water policy with the 20% “green reserve” that is part of the federal stimulus. Thursday’s vote shows that green infrastructure is a key to protecting and restoring the nation’s clean water. Representatives across the country now recognize that natural drainage practices save money and improve community health, while providing essential infrastructure, neighborhood open space, clean air and habitat.”

The overall bill passed to support long-term federal investment in critical clean water actions and takes another step toward elevating green infrastructure approaches as priorities in federal policy.

More information on the amendment at Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) website.

What is a bioswale? Learn more at the project page for Our Lady Gate of Heaven green infrastructure demonstration project, including a case study and photos.