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July 14, 2008

N.C. State presenters well-represented

Jennings at Biltmore stream
Dr. Greg Jennings explains a stream restoration project on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to tour participants.

Several North Carolina State University presenters were among the 300 engineers, city, county and federal officials who attended a university-sponsored Low Impact Development summit in Asheville June 23 - 24.

The summit addressed planning, policy and financial aspects of making Low Impact Development (LID) principles a reality.

LID is an alternative to traditional site design, incorporating water treatment structures into the landscape and a building’s “footprint,” the amount of earth it covers. LID features are research-based stormwater best management practices (BMPs) constructed to mimic pre-development hydrologic conditions. The BMPs improve water quality by reducing surface runoff, erosion and pollution not from specifically identifiable sources, such as waste treatment or industrial sites.

“With today’s economic benefits and available flexible designs, LID principles are becoming a more popular, attractive way to treat water quality on sites,” says Dr. Bill Hunt, of N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ (CALS) Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department (BAE), and North Carolina Cooperative Extension urban stormwater management specialist.

How popular?

Attentive attendees hailed from 24 states, 19 institutions of higher education, 41 municipalities, 17 counties, the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the Pentagon, as well as from more than 70 private businesses and 17 sponsors and exhibitors.

N.C. State presenters and their topics included Hunt (bioretention, permeable pavement, water harvesting); Dr. Lee-Anne Milburn, of CALS’ Landscape Architecture Department, who told an approving crowd that North Carolina’s LID manual should be ready by Jan. 1, 2009; Matthew Jones, BAE (LID coldwater stream considerations); and Dr. Rich McLaughlin of CALS’ Soil Sciences Department (construction BMPs).

Five concurrent “hands-on” sessions included workshops on permeable pavement by Dr. Bruce Ferguson, University of Georgia; water harvesting by Hunt; and LID site assessment by Milburn and Christy Perrin, of Cooperative Extension’s Watershed Education for Communities and Officials, in CALS' Agricultural and Resource Economics Department.

Dr. Greg Jennings (BAE Professor and Extension specialist) hosted a tour of several stream restoration sites in Buncombe County, including on the French Broad River and a stream that feeds it through the Biltmore Estate. Landscape architect Jon Calabria, of N.C. State’s Water Quality Group and French Broad Training Center coordinator, hosted a stormwater BMP tour at the North Carolina Arboretum near Asheville.

Summit hosts included CALS’ BAE, N.C. State’s Water Quality Group and College of Design and Cooperative Extension. Also hosting: U.S. Agriculture Department Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service’s Southern Regional Water Program, the N.C. Environmental and Natural Resources Department’s Division of Water Quality, the Low Impact Development Center and the Center for Watershed Protection.

Posted by Art at July 14, 2008 01:17 PM