Municipal Actions for Water Quality - Action Plan to Implement Recommendations

Through several phases of this stakeholder research project, MTAAP members and municipal contacts provided ideas through a survey on how to enable or incentivize more municipalities to take actions that protect or improve water quality. Recommendations were discussed, combined, and prioritized, resulting in an Action Plan of a few high priority recommendations. Several MTAAP and DVRPC team members drafted the recommendations to include measurable outcomes, possible partners, and implementation steps.

Innovative New Ideas

An idea or program that is new, and improve municipal planning or better deliver technical assistance to municipalities

  • Create a Municipal Environmental Defense Fund [0.1 MB pdf]

    A Municipal Environmental Defense Fund could be a resource administered by an established municipal assistance organization to provide legal defense to municipalities when faced with a legal challenge to environmental protective measures.

  • Create a Delaware River Watershed Initiative Academy [0.1 MB pdf]

    By creating the Delaware River Watershed Initiative Watershed Academy, technical assistance professionals could increase watershed-wide capacity, work directly with committed municipal officials, and implement more effective policies and on-the-ground actions to protect water quality.

  • Create a Department of Public Works Certification Program [0.1 MB pdf]

    Create a certification program that enables public works directors to install stream repair/restoration projects on non-exceptional value/non-high quality streams without needing to obtain permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

  • Create a Municipal Incentive Program that Encourages Property Owners [0.1 MB pdf]

    Create an incentive program at the municipal level that encourages property owners to reduce impervious surfaces and install low-impact development (LID)/green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) elements.

  • Encourage Greater Upstream/Downstream Municipal Collaboration [0.2 MB pdf]

    To encourage higher levels of intermunicipal collaboration, state departments of environmental protection should allow collaboration among noncontiguous municipalities in an affected watershed to promote upstream source water protection.

Expanding Existing Efforts

Scale up programs and services already being undertaken by an organization

  • Educate Riparian Landowners [0.1 MB pdf]

    Increase programs that educate landowners, particularly those who live along waterways, about the value of riparian buffer restoration projects, proper land care, natural turf management, native species, and other topics that enable them to use their properties to improve water quality. The education campaign could be customized to the landowners' communities and include site tours.

  • Highlight Best Municipal Practices through Awards [0.1 MB pdf]

    As an existing watershed-wide organization with a broad and deep reach, the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed can regularly highlight municipalities, inspiring other municipalities to adopt similar efforts.

  • Municipalities Lead by Example [0.1 MB pdf]

    Municipalities can lead by example by implementing stormwater best management practices and green stormwater infrastructure projects in highly visible locations in parks and other municipal-owned properties.

  • Create a Collection of Municipal Outreach Materials [0.1 MB pdf]

    Identify a regional Delaware River Watershed organization to create and maintain an online collection of municipal outreach materials from all of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative municipalities/clusters for all municipalities to access and use.

  • Use Experiential Learning to Engage the Next Generation of Leaders [0.1 MB pdf]

    Connect nonprofit organizations that undertake citizen science, experiential learning, and hands-on volunteering with county-level organizations to better engage the general public and current leaders, and train the next generation of environmental stewards and elected officials.

  • Continue to Work with Nonprofits to Undertake Technical Work [0.1 MB pdf]

    Expand nonprofit environmental organizations’ work with municipalities to undertake technical work, such as sewer outfall mapping, monitoring effectiveness of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Minimum Control Measures (e.g., rain gardens), or maintaining improvements made by the municipality.

  • Match Farmers with DRWI TA Providers [0.2 MB pdf]

    Expand upon TA programs that work with farmers to implement agricultural BMPs by matching farmers with the “right” TA organizations or professionals.

Advocacy and Policy Campaigns

Recommendations that address major issues that municipalities face and would require concerted campaigns and political effort to create.