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E-M:/ Press Release: Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Grayling highlighted in state report on stormwater

Enviro-Mich message from lrussello@cleanwater.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE		        More Information:
Wednesday, August 30, 2006		        Lynna Kaucheck, Clean Water Fund
				        Cyndi Roper, Clean Water Fund
				        Gary Belan, American Rivers

Report Showcases Michigan Communities
Protecting Local Waterways
>From green roofs to rain gardens, three cities show the way

Lansing, MI ?A new report issued today showcases high-quality, low-tech
efforts in three Michigan cities?Grand Rapids, Grayling and Lansing?to
reduce pollution from rain events.

The Greening of Stormwater report, released today by Clean Water Fund and
American Rivers, highlights community efforts to use green roofs, rain
gardens, pollution-absorbing ponds and similar efforts as safe and
effective alternatives in combating pollution from stormwater runoff  ?the
nation?s leading cause of water pollution.

?The more we build and the more we pave, the more polluted stormwater
runoff enters area waters. Grand Rapids, Grayling and Lansing are leading
the way when it comes to reducing the amount of pollution caused by this
runoff, and they?re saving money while creating beautiful spaces,? said
Clean Water Fund?s Lynna Kaucheck.

The communities cited in the report have implemented what?s known as Low
Impact Development (LID) strategies that utilize easy, affordable, and
more efficient ways of managing stormwater runoff.

"Clean water and healthy rivers are valuable community assets, and the
cities highlighted in this report are doing a fantastic job showing how
people can make a real difference in their environment and the health of
the Great Lakes. We hope other communities around Michigan and the rest of
the country will follow the excellent lead of Grand Rapids, Grayling and
Lansing when dealing with polluted runoff,? said Gary Belan, Associate
Director for American Rivers? Healthy Waters Campaign.

According to Pat Lindemann, Ingham County Drain Commissioner, ?If our goal
is to have fishable and swimmable waters, then we must use Low Impact
Development strategies to turn our impacts on the landscape from a
negative to a positive.  Using nature to manage stormwater is cheaper and
more attractive than using concrete, and the outcome is better.?


?Land developers and municipal planners must look at alternatives to
surfaces that can?t absorb the water. Porous pavement and green roofs are
two strategies that are both economically and environmentally viable
methods of managing stormwater run-off,? said architect and LID leader Guy
Bazzani of the Grand Rapids-based Bazzani and Associates.

Stormwater runoff is the precipitation that remains on the ground
following a rain or snowstorm, after all other precipitation has been
absorbed into the ground or evaporated into the atmosphere.  In cities,
where a great portion of surface area is covered by concrete, buildings or
houses, stormwater can accumulate because not enough ground is available
to absorb it.

The report focuses on three communities in Michigan that have used
alternative methods such as rain gardens, stormwater ponds and green roofs
to combat the problems associated with stormwater runoff.  These efforts
have resulted in a significant decrease in the volume of stormwater
runoff, as well as the removal of toxins and metals from the areas
surrounding the installations.

The West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) joined with Clean
Water Fund and American Rivers in today?s report release.  According to
WMEAC?s Patricia Pennell, ?We are delighted to see the City of Grand
Rapids and all our other partners recognized for their excellent efforts
to protect the region?s water quality. People travel from out of state to
visit our Grand Rapids rain gardens, and our partners helped make all
these beautiful rain gardens possible."

http://www.cleanwateraction.org/mi/		http://www.americanrivers.org


Laura Russello, MSW
Environmental Health Organizer
Clean Water Action
(734) 222-6347

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