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Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials

NY Sea Grant NEMO is based on Long Island, where vast aquatic resources fringe the nearly 1000 miles of Long Island coastline. Long Island Sound, the South Shore Estuary Reserve and the Peconic Estuary sustain NEMO logoeconomic, recreational, cultural and environmental resources that are integral to the quality of life on Long Island. Decades of rapid growth have resulted in impaired surface water quality, restricted or closed bathing beaches, closed shellfish beds, reduced navigability, declining shoreline aesthetics, and degraded wetlands and wildlife habitats. Nonpoint source pollution, or contaminated runoff, has been identified as a primary cause.

Local government officials are working to address the need to improve protection and restoration of their natural resources while providing for economic growth. They are also making strides in meeting the requirements of the recent federal water pollution control program known as the EPA Phase II stormwater regulations, which are directed at the discharge of polluted stormwater by municipal separate storm sewer systems.

New York Sea Grant’s NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program provides assistance to Long Island officials in building on natural resource protection efforts while achieving federal stormwater regulatory compliance.

Most Long Island municipalities must meet the requirements of the EPA Phase II regulations, which mandate comprehensive stormwater management programs. NYSG NEMO facilitates a proactive watershed-based management strategy that leverages the objectives of municipal Phase II programs and the management objectives of Long Island’s three Estuary programs. This approach is effective in responding to local concerns about funding, staffing, technical expertise, and the achievement of real local improvements. Acting as liaison, NYSG NEMO, through its workshops and consultations, has advanced intermunicipal approaches to stormwater impact mitigation on Long Island. NYSG NEMO promotes watershed-based intermunicipal implementation of Phase II programs to ensure cost-effective Phase II budgets, and consistent approaches to land use policies that result in maximized resource protection.

NYSG NEMO is a member of the National NEMO Network, a growing partnership of NEMO programs throughout the country. The NEMO Program was created in 1991 at the University of Connecticut, as a collaboration of the Cooperative Extension System, the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program and the Natural Resources Management and Engineering Department. NEMO programs nationwide are at the forefront in addressing some of the most pressing land use and water quality issues local governments face and they are widely recognized for providing effective tools, expertise, and assistance to local decision makers seeking to protect coastal resources. For more on the National NEMO Network, click here.

What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn't soak into the ground but runs off into waterways. It flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way. (more)

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