Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $5,184 Total Non-Federal Funds: $3,155
Principal Investigators: Gerald Kauffman, Maria Pautler
Abstract: The UD WATER Project (Watershed Action Team for Ecological Restoration) was formed in 2008 as a collaborative initiative with the long-term goal of merging and facilitating university-wide efforts to minimize the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff from our campus. The UD WATER initiative is synergistic with the University™ Path to Prominence strategic goal to become a Green Campus. UD WATER brings together a consortium of faculty, staff, and students from various departments and disciplines across campus to work collaboratively to implement creative and innovative storm water management techniques in the most holistic and efficient manner achievable. The ultimate goal for this team is to reduce the quantity and increase the quality of storm runoff from campus properties, which will ultimately benefit our local waterways and is consistent with the mission of EPA regulations requiring the University and City of Newark to have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Membership on this team includes faculty and staff from Occupational Environmental Health and Safety, Facilities Planning and Construction, Facilities Grounds Maintenance Services, Delaware Water Resources Center and the Departments of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology and Plant and Soil Sciences within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Delaware Geological Survey, the UD Water Resources Agency within the UD School of Public Policy and Administration, and stormwater specialists from the City of Newark Objectives: The objectives of the 2015-2016 UD WATER project are to (1) form a team of 3 undergraduate interns from different disciplines (environmental engineering, plant and soil sciences, and water resources management) to assist in the initiation of implementation of BMPs that will protect water quality in the White Clay Creek; and (2) conduct research, monitoring and environmental education programs that demonstrate the value of ecologically based stormwater management practices. The specific focus of this project will be on recommendation #1, increase the number and acreage of bio-retention ponds, grassed swales, and wetlands throughout the watershed, targeting them to areas of greatest TSS and nutrient loading. Two externally funded projects are supporting the efforts of the UD WATER team to implement such BMPs on the UD campus. The interns supported by the DWRC will assist in the design, implementation, water quality monitoring, and environmental education programs associated with these projects. They will also prepare a final technical report and present their findings to the UD administration and in an undergraduate research symposium.