Restoring the Merrimack River by Connecting Communities through Stormwater Education is a training and outreach program designed to educate community members, developers, residents, municipal staff and officials about the effects of stormwater on water quality and the solutions available to both individuals and communities. The project is funded through a $60,000 U.S. EPA Urban Waters Small Grant.
As part of the Urban Waters Program, EPA is helping communities — especially underserved communities —to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Whether as part of a cleanup leading to waterfront development or putting monitoring in place to ensure safe drinking water, community groups across the country have taken the initiative, engaging volunteers, community organizations, and local and state government to make their waters safe for many uses.
The project is based in the Greater Lowell region of Massachusetts, which includes:
The project focuses on effectively communicating stormwater issues, with special attention paid to low-income, non-English speaking Environmental Justice communities.
The ultimate goal for this project is to restore the Merrimack River in the Greater Lowell region by creating stormwater messages that enable and empower all citizens to improve and protect our urban waterways.
We will accomplish this through existing and new relationships with stakeholders that represent the diversity and unique character of the Greater Lowell region. Education and information will be provided through workshops, training sessions and materials and use of social media outlets. The goal is that this information is accessible and understandable by everyone and will be translated into various languages for all citizens, including those that are adversely affected by poor water quality.
In addition to providing education and information to the Greater Lowell region, a ‘How-To’ manual that outlines the steps to creating a tailored stormwater education and outreach program and a ‘Train-the-Trainer’ manual that can be used by any community in the Commonwealth were developed.