State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010ME204B
Title: Permaculture Design Research Initiative
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: Second
Focus Categories: Non Point Pollution, Water Quality, Ecology
Keywords: NPS pollution, water quality, agriculture, best management practices, constructed treatment wetlands, ecosystem, landscape ecology, stormwater runoff, water quality
Principal Investigators: Blais, Joline (Univ of Maine Orono); Smith, Owen
Federal Funds: $ 3710
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 4485
Abstract: Permaculture Design Research Initiative (PDRI)

The goal of PDRI is to create a low cost, community-based, educational model for transforming non-point source pollution from stormwater run-off into a value-added thriving ecosystem, filtering water and producing food for humans and wildlife. This model will take the form of a permaculture design document, including a landscape design drawing, a research report, and a guide for implementation. This will constitute phase one (research and design), of a two part process. Phase two will consist of the actual implementation of a restored ecosystem and will seek additional and appropriate grant funds.

For phase one, the PDRI permaculture design document will be produced by an interdisciplinary design team consisting of artists, designers, researchers and community members whose common goal will be to develop a LID that meets all of the Maine DEP guidelines for stormwater design and management. The initiative will take a core Permaculture design principle--"the problem is the solution"--and focus energy on transforming a current economic and ecological liability (stormwater run-off) into an educational and economic asset (collaborative ecological restoration and food production) and in the process--via online documentation, social networking, and artists engagement--raise public awareness of the effectiveness of collaborative and ecological designs and retrofits. By raising public awareness and seeking multidisciplinary input in the design phase, the project aims to broaden its vision as well as locate collaborators--artists, designers, researchers and community members--for the actual implementation in phase two. The online documentation/website will generate base for future funding of this project (and eventually other permaculture design solutions) as well as collecting feedback on Best Management Practices (BMPs) for transforming non-point source pollution from stormwater run-off into a value-added thriving ecosystems.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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