Stormwater Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.) is a coalition dedicated to ensuring swimmable waters around New York City through natural, sustainable stormwater management practices in our neighborhoods. This approach is environmentally and fiscally responsible because it utilizes stormwater, currently viewed as waste, as a resource.
How we work: Our members gather for a public meeting six times a year, every other month. We have a steering committee that also meets six times a year, on the alternating months. In this way, the activities of the steering committee are informed by and communicated with the larger coalition. In our January 2011 public meeting, we formed committees in the following four areas:
- Green Roof Tax Credit – to coordinate member interest in strengthening the existing Green Roof Tax Credit and future Green Infrastructure incentives
- Workforce Development – to support existing and future job training, certification and labor initiatives relating to Green Infrastructure
- Public Notification – to focus on specific, creative strategies for protecting public health at the water’s edge
- Fundraising – to develop S.W.I.M. Coalition capacity and support its organizational stability
If you would like to join any of these committees, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Why does stormwater infrastructure matter?
Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) happen during and after heavy wet weather like a rainstorm or snowmelt, when the City’s sewage treatment facilities are overloaded with the combination of sewage from buildings and runoff from streets, sidewalks and rooftops. When overloaded, sewage treatment plants are designed to divert the combined untreated wastewater to the nearest creek, river or bay via CSO structures like this one on the Bronx River.
What is Sustainable Stormwater Management?
Sustainable Stormwater Management refers to capturing rain water on rooftops, streets, sidewalks and open spaces to prevent it from entering the sewer system. This is often accomplished through urban retrofits, like green roofs, rain gardens, disconnected rain gutter downspouts, and porous pavement. Capturing the water near the sources of water runoff throughout the watershed can help to prevent CSO while also providing the benefits of added green space, reduction of energy costs, and improved air quality.
New York City is required to complete a Long Term Control Plan that will drive the implementation of projects and practices aimed to reduce CSO and improve water quality. The founding members of S.W.I.M. came together to advocate for stormwater management in this plan.
JOIN US! To become a S.W.I.M. Coalition partner, email email@example.com.