Stormwater is the water generated from impervious surfaces when it rains. Unless it is dealt with in some other way, stormwater generated near surface waters drives silt, organic matter, bacteria, nutrients, metals, and petroleum products into fresh and coastal waters. The bacteria carried to our coastal ponds contribute to shellfish bed closures that impact our way of life. Stormwater is a visible, often easily corrected source of water pollution.
This source of water quality degradation can be eliminated or at least reduced by having rain and runoff infiltrate directly into the ground, instead of letting it flow into coastal ponds and other surfacewaters. In the ground, it is filtered, treated, and then replenishes groundwater resources.
The use of nonstructural, natural approaches is preferred. Low Impact Development (LID) is an innovative stormwater management approach that avoids costly conventional techniques to pipe, treat, and dispose of stormwater. Instead, it replicates the pre-development hydrology of the site by using design techniques modeled after nature, to infiltrate, filter, store, evaporate, and detain runoff close to its source. Techniques include porous pavers, pervious asphalt, bioretention swales, grassed infiltration areas and rain gardens. LID guidelines should be incorporated into permitting and project approvals at town and MVC levels to minimize the generation of stormwater.
Discharges to surface waters that contain shellfish resources, especially discharges close to the shellfish waters (remove bacteria using vegetative treatment where possible and infiltration to the ground otherwise).
Discharges where nitrogen impairment exists (direct as much stormwater as possible to natural vegetated buffers or artificial vegetated bioretention swales to reduce nutrients, bacteria and other pollutants; infiltrate as much of the remainder as possible).
Where no treatment is possible, the schedule of catch basin clean-outs should be evaluated to determine if a more frequent clean-out is required.
Native plants in Buffer Strips Native plants for use in buffer strips or residential low-maintenance landscapes. See also the Polly Hill Plant Selection Guide below.
Water Table Data- 2008 Update: Summarizes the data collected from 1992 through 2008 from an Island-wide network of 15 monitoring wells.
- Polly Hill Arboretum Plant Selection Guide: A resource intended to guide municipalities, landscape architects, and individuals towards plants with excellent horticultural, ecological and adaptive characteristics that are suitable for landscape uses on Martha’s Vineyard.
- Coastal Stormwater Management through Green Infrastructure: A Handbook for Municipalities (Handbook) is designed to assist coastal municipalities within the Massachusetts Bays Program (MassBays) area to incorporate green infrastructure into their stormwater management planning.
- University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center: Information on cutting-edge research on stormwater management, as well as resources for the stormwater management community.