Localized Green Infrastructure Guide Wins Award, GI Champions Workshop Held
Coastal Community Development Program - Press Release

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has presented a Merit Award of Achievement for Research and Communication to the Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual for the City of Rochester and Monroe County.


Mary Austerman, NY Sea Grant, Great Lakes Coastal Community Specialist, E: mp357@cornell.edu, P: 315-331-8415

Kara Lynn Dunn, NYSG Great Lakes Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315.465.7578

Newark, NY, June 4, 2019 - The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has presented a Merit Award of Achievement for Research and Communication to the Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual for the City of Rochester and Monroe County in New York State.

Green infrastructure (GI) is a design strategy that applies a natural systems approach to managing stormwater and creating healthier, more sustainable environments. Adding natural elements to developed areas can help reduce nuisance flooding and enhance property values.

The 189-page, how-to guide and 109-page appendices resource is a product of a partnership between the City of Rochester, Monroe County, Barton & Loguidice, D.P.A., the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and New York Sea Grant (NYSG). A multi-disciplinary jury of the Pennsylvania/Delaware Chapter of ASLA determined the awards. The NY Upstate Chapter of ASLA entered the manual for judging.

The illustrated manual includes information on the pollutant removal efficiencies of green infrastructure practices, a cost calculator, soil testing protocols, recommended plants, and case studies.

“Retrofitting our cities with green infrastructure is an important step to help us prepare for the impacts of increased precipitation and flooding that cities are experiencing, as well to reduce stormwater pollution and improve water quality,” said City of Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren.  “The City of Rochester and Monroe County Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual is a great resource for communities to use to help them design, install and maintain green infrastructure. These efforts improve the quality of life for all Rochesterians, aiding our continued efforts to create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to work with a great team to develop this important document.”

"Monroe County is proud to have participated in the collaborative effort to design the Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual. With a renewed focus on sustainability measures locally, we will continue to incorporate the principles of the manual into County operations and encourage other municipalities and organizations to do the same. Proactive, sustainable best-practices will only enhance our efforts to create more jobs, build better budgets and grow stronger families throughout our community," said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo.

Although the Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual was developed for the City of Rochester and Monroe County, the overall guidance is applicable to communities elsewhere.

“This project fills an information gap specifically focused on local guidance for green infrastructure retrofits. Stakeholder input sessions focused on designing a manual to help planners, municipal staff, design engineers, and maintenance personnel successfully incorporate green infrastructure practices in retrofit and redevelopment projects locally in New York State,” said Mary Austerman, a coastal community development specialist with New York Sea Grant, Newark, N.Y.

Development of the manual was made possible through the Environmental Protection Fund under the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act through the NY Great Lakes Small Grants Program administered by NYSG, and the Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In 2018, the Great Lakes Commission (GLC) issued a report outlining steps to increase the adoption of green infrastructure in communities across the Great Lakes region. More recently, on May 30, New York Sea Grant and local partners—the Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Monroe County—teamed with the GLC to hold a GI Champions workshop in North Chili, N.Y. The GLC GI Champions Program helps communities overcome physical and institutional barriers to achieve more effective stormwater management by providing communities with tools they typically lack: funding and expertise. To learn more about the program visit: www.glc.org/work/champions.

The Green Infrastructure Retrofit Manual is available online via the "Resources" > "Tools" section of NYSG's Coastal Community Development Program Web site.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

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