Elected Official

A rain garden softens the look of a brick courtyard.
As someone who has worked hard to achieve a position of responsibility and leadership in your community, you know how important it is to maintain the support of your constituents and to continuously look for new ways to provide added amenity in your area. Encouraging the use of stormwater best management practices in development projects is one way of accomplishing this goal.

One of the most vital resources in your area - and all around the country - is water. The protection and management of drinking and stormwater is a topic of great concern to your constituents, private organizations, and federal and local political entities.

It is within your power to influence the way water is treated and promoted in your area - you can promote the treatment of water as a resource rather than a waste product. You can influence the development of new regulations and set the stage for the introduction of sustainable management practices and better design initiatives. Doing so not only has the potential to reduce costs related to stormwater management, but these practices may promote the livability and desirability of your community by adding amenities such as open or green space and installations more attractive than concrete detention ponds.

Increased use of sustainable stormwater controls and site designs that integrate water management with community amenities can make your community a place that people want to live in and visit, satisfying a growing desire for "green communities."

What can you do to encourage the use of best management practices?

With direct connections to lawmakers, influential members of the community, and the general public, you have the ability to create real and lasting change. With a small commitment from you, your community can be recognized for its innovation and leadership in a movement towards sustainability that is being promoted all over the country - and abroad.

You can promote BMP implementation by:

Design elements can link a BMP back to the resource it is intended to protect, in this case spawning salmon.
  • Working to gain the support of the public.
  • Partnering with other leaders to raise awareness over a larger geographic area.
  • Facilitating or mandating changes in development rules.

Take note: In your campaign to encourage BMP implementation, don't lose touch with the community. Stay connected with your constituents and consider their values and needs.

Next Steps

Take a look at some of the case studies presented here. After reading about what is happening in other areas, think about how you might be able to bring such changes to your own community. The communication aids page can give you the tools you need to start spreading the word. Additional information can be found in the resource links section as additional questions are raised during this exciting and dynamic process.

The following resources may be of particular interest:

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