Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Michigan: An integrated assessment of its Use, barriers & opportunities

Click here for the final report as well as a summary of a survey from a Michigan Sea Grant (part of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration National Sea Grant network) funded integrated assessment that investigated barriers and opportunities to wide-spread use of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) across the state of Michigan. Lessons learned can of course be applied anywhere in the country. The project team included Lawrence Technological University, Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT), and University of Michigan.

The investigation concluded that key barriers to GSI implementation include conflicting codes/ordinances, cost, lack of financing, maintenance, municipal and public acceptance, lack of regional planning, and uncertainty in performance.  Opportunities for successfully removing those barriers include:

  • Revising local codes and ordinances to allow for and/or promote GSI and establishing funding mechanisms for both implementation and maintenance.
  • Determining local values (such as wildlife habitat, aesthetics, climate resiliency, infrastructure protection, etc.) and develop GSI implementation strategies that align the benefits of GSI with those values.
  • Identifying and cultivating local leaders (both elected and civic) who can advocate for GSI implementation.
  • Establishing guidelines and programs for simplified long-term monitoring and maintenance of GSI.
  • Developing a framework to integrate local and regional planning and policies to encourage coordination across agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Conducting public education and outreach projects to assist public works professionals and citizens with understanding the multi-purpose role of GSI in their communities.

Additional information and resources related to GSI can also be found here: https://www.michiganseagrant.org/topics/resilient-coastal-communities/green-infrastructure/

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