Rural Stormwater Coalition
Individuals interested in promoting improved stormwater management practices in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben Counties have banded together to form the Rural Stormwater Coalition. The Coalition enables regional delivery of stormwater education and training programs. The Rural Stormwater Coalition meets quarterly, with leadership responsibilities and meeting locations rotating among the member counties and STC.
"Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In" is the motto for the Coalition and this philosophy guides the Coalition's projects. The goal is to work with natural systems to keep water on the land near where it falls.
The group's first project was a series of workshops entitled, "Rural Stormwater: Why Does It Matter?" These events, held June 5 and 12, 2008, were intended for municipal officials, particularly code enforcement officers, elected boards as well as planning board and zoning board of appeals members. The objective was to promote improved understanding of the State Construction Permit so that municipalities can provide developers with accurate information and promote compliance with state stormwater management requirements. Each municipality received a "Stormwater Toolbox" with information about the NYS Construction Permit, stormwater outreach materials, and other resources.
With funding from the STC Rural Stormwater Program grant, the Coalition purchased storm drain markers to let people know that whatever goes down the grate drains into nearby lakes and streams in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.
Funding from a Finger Lakes - Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (FL-LOWPA) Special Projects Grant enabled the Coalition to promote improved management of runoff from home sites. Several workshops provided training in the use of rain barrels and rain gardens to reduce the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff. More than 150 rain barrels have been distributed to homeowners throughout the 3-county region and each county built a rain garden demonstration area with educational signs. These rain garden sites and the rain barrel program were added to STC's Low Impact Development Sampler.
STC staff also developed educational handouts for the Rural Stormwater Coalition and others to distribute: "Rainwater: A Resource for Homeowners", "Building a Rural Driveway",Rural Stormwater Flow Chart for construction sites (for Schuyler and Steuben County Code Enforcement Officiers), and Illicit Discharge Protocol for Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties.
Rural Stormwater Coalition Training is posted on the Chemung County Rural Stormwater webpage
Rural Coalition Contacts:
STC Region - Janet Thigpen
Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board
8 Denison Parkway East, Suite 310
Corning, NY 14830
Chemung County - Jessica Verrigni
Chemung County Stormwater Coalition
851 Chemung Street
Horseheads, NY 14845
Schuyler County - Elaine Dalrymple
Schuyler County Soil & Water Conservation District
P.O. Box 326
Montour Falls, NY 14865
Steuben County - Jeff Parker
Steuben County Soil & Water Conservation District
USDA Service Center
415 West Morris Street
Bath, NY 14810
(607) 776-7398 Ext. 3