Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
Most people live in increasingly impervious worlds—sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and buildings fill the environment. Hard surfaces don’t absorb rain, letting it run off, flow into nearby waterways, and carry accumulated contaminants. As climate change brings bigger, more frequent storms, managing this precipitation as it hits the ground is even more critical to prevent flooding and protect water quality. Simple solutions, including installing rain gardens, can help by bringing green back into the environment.
Programs & Initiatives
The Calumet region of Chicago experiences chronic urban flooding, resulting in property damage, polluted runoff, infrastructure stress, and community disinvestment. The workgroup engages in coordinated planning to improve stormwater management, helping address the negative impacts of urban flooding through green infrastructure.See More
Maintaining a healthy lawn can be an important aspect of homeownership, but sometimes conventional lawn care practices negatively impact our water resources. For example, fertilizers and pesticides that are used to grow thick green grass can run off your lawn into nearby stormwater drains and pollute local waterways. The solution is to create an attractive and environmentally-friendly landscape using natural lawn care principles promoted by IISG’s Lawn to Lake Midwest program. This program reduces polluted runoff in our waterbodies and enhances a lawn’s natural ability to thrive.See More
Rainscaping includes the use of sustainable landscape design and management practices at both the household and community scales to prevent pollution from reaching water bodies by directing stormwater to be absorbed by plants and soils. The Rainscaping Education Program provides training and resources on practices that can be installed in a residential setting or small scale public spaces project.See More
The Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is a blueprint for improving water quality at home and all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus losses from farm fields, city streets, and wastewater treatment plants. Released in 2015, the strategy outlines a suite of voluntary and mandatory practices that are expected to ultimately cut nutrient loading to rivers and streams by 45 percent.See More
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant funds original research projects that support and complement our education and outreach activities. The link below will take you the Stormwater and Green Infrastructure section of our funded research database, where you will find project descriptions, contact information, and final reports and publications.See All Related Research & Projects