Everyday, the state’s 66 conservation districts work to preserve our natural environment. Efforts such as the design and implementation of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) as well as stream restoration, stream stabilization and erosion and sediment (E&S) controls are a part of their day-to-day operations.
And each of these measures reduces soil erosion into streams, but also works to minimize the damage caused by flooding in Pennsylvania as well as our neighboring states. When disasters such as Hurricane Sandy occur, these controls reduce the destruction an area may otherwise face.
“When we attend various events, we often ‘tell’ people of the work of the districts,” said Robert Maiden, PACD Executive Director. “It is in times like these where we can actually ‘see’ the districts at work. As Hurricane Sandy hit the region this past week, various BMPs were in place which increased rain water infiltration and lessened the impact of the storm to some homes, businesses and communities throughout the commonwealth. Oftentimes, people may think ‘oh, we weren’t hit too hard’ but they aren’t making the connection between these controls and the maintenance and continued safety of their properties.
“Flooding during super storms is inevitable, but the conservation districts’ work prevented water from reaching some rivers and ultimately many properties,” Maiden added. “Even one inch less of water in your basement is better when dealing with recovery efforts. When implemented, BMPs aid us all.”
Stormwater BMPs, E&S controls and stream restoration/ stabilization projects equal cost savings.
According to a recent account by Reuters, early estimates of the cost of Hurricane Sandy’s damage to the northeast are roughly between $20 billion and $45 billion. A low percentage of reduced flooding equates to savings when examining flooding costs in its overall context.
District personnel work after the storm as well. Staffs assess flood damage, allowing citizens to apply for government recovery funds and assist landowners with debris removal from streams.
For more photos of various Best Management Practices at work during the recent hurricane, visit the PACD website. Click Here toontact your local conservation district.