Credit for Going Green: Using an Expert Panel Process to Quantify the Benefits of Buffers

Date and Time: 
Wed, 06/17/2020 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Speaker(s): 
Cory Riley, Dolores Leonard, and James Houle
Location: 
Webinar

Creating vegetated buffers along rivers and bays is a widely recognized strategy to protect water quality while providing other services that benefit ecosystems and communities. However, until recently there was no way to quantify the ability of restored or constructed buffers to reduce pollution, or for communities to receive credit for using buffers under regulatory permits in New England.

Through an expert panel process first modeled in Chesapeake Bay, the Credit for Going Green project team worked with experts to generate science-based recommendations to calculate the pollutant removal rate of buffers in development, redevelopment, restoration, or other land use change projects. Communities can use this information to receive pollutant removal credits for restored or constructed buffers under permits issued by stormwater permit programs. The project has provided municipal staff and boards with the information and tools to better promote buffers as a way to protect water quality, while also enhancing habitat and protecting communities from flooding. Decision makers in New Hampshire are planning to apply the  expert panel process to other stormwater BMPs in 2021.

In this webinar, members of the project team will share technical findings and lessons learned that could help others apply their methods to generate science-based recommendations for other policy questions. To learn more, download their facilitation guide and tool for calculating pollutant removal rates.

Learn more about speakers:

Cressman Cumulative Change

Cory Riley oversees the Great Bay Reserve’s education, research, stewardship, and coastal training programs. She works closely with partners to promote clean water and healthy coastal habitats in the region. As project lead for Credit for Going Green, Cory provided overall coordination and helped ensure the process remained focused on stakeholder needs and results were transferred to other reserves.

Burdick Site 4 Maps

Dolores Leonard is a communications and group process professional with 25 years of experience working with nonprofits and research programs to deliver communications strategies, products, and co-learning experiences. For this project, she designed and facilitated the expert panel process and developed a set of outreach products, including technical summaries and a guide to the panel process, which have been shared with a range of stakeholders.

James Houle is the Program Director for the Stormwater Center at University of New Hampshire. His responsibilities include directing and managing the Stormwater Center's growing body of research projects. Areas of expertise include diffusion of innovative stormwater management solutions, the design and implementation of innovative stormwater control measures including green infrastructure, and low impact development strategies, planning and implementation, operation and maintenance, and water resource monitoring.

Learn more about projectCredit for Going Green: Transfer of an Expert Panel Process Model

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