Jan 07, 2014

EPA, Watershed Academy Host Green Infrastructure Webcast

Webcast will explore planning for green infrastructure at the landscape scale

EPA Healthy Watersheds Program Watershed Academy Webcast GI Planning

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Healthy Watersheds Program and the Watershed Academy will sponsor a webcast Jan. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. EST on planning for green infrastructure (GI) at the landscape scale, highlighting New York’s new GI planning guide. GI in the context of landscapes is the interconnected natural systems and ecological processes that provide clean water, clean air, and critical wildlife habitat. This webcast will help states and local governments understand the importance of planning to protect GI landscapes by using a strategic landscape approach to open-space conservation. By using this approach, local communities, landowners and organizations work together to identify, design and conserve their local land network and the multiple ecological and economic benefits it provides. A GI plan entails assessing an area’s existing natural assets to determine the greatest priorities for protection and resto­ration, along with implementation strategies. GI plays a critical role in the protection of healthy watersheds and the ecosystem services they support.

This three-part webcast will introduce a landscape scale approach toward GI planning and provide a planning example conducted at the county level. The first part of the webcast will highlight why New York sought to develop a GI plan and how they went about it. The second part of the webcast will introduce the multiple benefits of GI and GI planning as a key tool to ensure that land use conservation decisions are made using the best available data and objective information. The webcast will conclude with a case study of GI planning in Ulster County, New York. This example will highlight the various steps of GI planning and demonstrate how GI maps are created and evaluated. The case study will provide a planning model that may be replicated at other counties across New York and nationwide.