66 Multi-Benefit Resources


A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems

Author: Mannino et al., (2008)
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A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Seminatural Wetlands and Activated Sludge Wastewater-Treatment Systems compares cost efficiency of wastewater treatment capacity for three constructed wetlands and three wastewater treatment plants. Considering only the wastewater treatment, and no other costs and benefits, the authors find constructed treatment wetlands are competitive with traditional wastewater treatment facilities.

Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool

Author: Kasey Armstrong, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool is an Excel based economic valuation model. It calculates the net present value (NPV) for different green infrastructure investments. The tool is designed to introduce the potential benefits of a project, so environmental managers can get estimates before performing an exhaustive economic valuation.

A Meta-Analysis of Hedonic Studies to Assess the Property Value Effects of Low Impact Development

Author: Mazzota et al., Atlantic Ecology Division, US EPA (2014)
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A Meta-Analysis of Hedonic Studies to Assess the Property Value Effects of Low Impact Development analyzed 35 different low impact development valuation studies across the United States. Distance and characteristics of the low impact development affect the hedonic valuation. The most robust determinants of willingness to pay are from locally available low impact developments.

Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review

Author: Brown et al., US Forest Service (1991)
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Assessing The Direct Effects of Streamflow on Recreation: A Literature Review examines the relationship between stream flows and recreation quality. Most papers found a nonlinear relationship between increases in stream flows and recreation quality. Recreation quality increases with streamflows until a site specific point, and then levels out. This indicates there could be an optimum stream flow in water systems for recreation quality.

Water for Wilderness Areas: Instream Flow Needs, Protection, and Economic Value

Author: Brown, US Forest Service (1991)
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Water for Wilderness Areas: Instream Flow Needs, Protection, and Economic Value reviews literature to examine the needs of wilderness for instream flows. Instream flows sufficient for supporting recreation may not be sufficient for supporting wilderness needs. There is no consensus on how much quantity or value these flows have, but existence value techniques may be able to estimate this.

Building and Measuring Community Resilience: Actions for Communities and the Gulf Research Program

Author: Allen et al., National Academy of Sciences (2019)
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Building and Measuring Community Resilience uses a consensus study to examine how communities could become more resilient in the face of climate change and other disasters. They discuss 33 different resilience measurements and included input from stakeholders from eight different communities. This information is summarized into recommendations for developing resilience in communities and a table comparing different resilience metrics.

Green Infrastructure Evaluation Framework

Author: National Recreation and Park Association (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Evaluation Framework allows for people planning green infrastructure projects to identify and systematically calculate project benefits. Step one of the framework has a tool to identify all the different benefits that could be expected. Step two lays out how to collect and manage data to evaluate green infrastructure. Step 3 builds a structure on how to use the data, once collected, for communication inside and outside of the organization.

EnviroAtlas

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N/A)
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EnviroAtlas is an online mapping and analysis tool by the U.S. EPA that allows users to evaluate the potential impact of proposed infrastructure and policy decisions on human health, the economy, and the environment. Data and other resources are freely available for download.

Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) Approach

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N/A)
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The Rapid Benefit Indicators (RBI) approach allows users to quickly estimate and quantify non-monetary benefits to people around an ecological restoration site. It includes several tools to help users develop and summarize indicators as well as a spatial tool for geographic analysis of benefits.

NRCS Practice Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Carbon Sequestration

Author: Natural Resource Conservation Service (2012)
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The NRCS Practice Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Carbon Sequestration ranks effectiveness of greenhouse gas reduction techniques for farmers. This list provides NRCS practice codes and brief summaries of techniques.

i-Tree

Author: USDA Forest Service, Davey Tree Expert Company, Arborday Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, International Society of Arboriculture, Casey Trees, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (2019)
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The i-Tree portal allows environmental managers to quantify benefits of urban and rural forestry. The website provides tools from the USDA Forest Service based on scientific studies to create tangible ecosystem services. These tools allow for the calculation of benefits from the parcel to state level.

COMET-Planner

Author: USDA, Colorado State (2019)
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The COMET-Planner provides estimates of greenhouse gas emissions for specific agricultural conservation practices. The tool allows for farmers and managers to select potential strategies and quantify the emissions based on the number of acres adopting the practice.

A Framework for Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Dam Removal

Author: Whitelaw & Macmullen, ECONorthwest (2002)
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A Framework for Estimating the Costs and Benefits of Dam Removal examines the case study of removing dams from the Snake River. The authors use this analysis to provide a list of recommendations for performing a cost benefit analysis on dam removal. They emphasize relying on simplistic endangered species vs endangered jobs can distort calculations and miss other important areas of economic growth.

The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers

Author: Young, American Rivers (2016)
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The Economic Value of Riparian Buffers provides analyses of current valuation of riparian buffers. The report discusses valuation from impact on residential property values and community value with a multiple benefit perspective. Benefits to community, air quality, flooding, habitat, and water quality are considered and further valuation research is suggested to better include those values.

Recreation Use Values Database

Author: Oregon State University (2016)
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The Recreation Use Values Database catalogs studies that place valuations on recreational activities and the species related to these activities. The database is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet that allows for specific recreational uses and species to be analyzed.

An Analysis of the Demand for and Value of Outdoor Recreation in the United States

Author: Bergstrom & Cordell, USDA Forest Service (1991)
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An Analysis of the Demand for and Value of Outdoor Recreation in the United States examines the valuation for 37 different recreational activities across the US in 1991. Travel cost method determined the total value for recreation in the United States was $122 billion annually at the time of study. Value of individual recreation activities was also calculated.

Economic Benefits: Metics and Methods for Landscape Performance Assessment

Author: Wang et al., Utah State University (2016)
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The Economic Benefits: Metrics and Methods for Landscape Performance Assessment presents a method and standard metrics for assessing the economic benefits of landscapes. This method and the associated metrics can be used to increase the scientific rigor of landscape architecture and to help achieve high(er) levels of sustainability in the built environment. Three test cases are used to demonstrate the utility of the method.

Landscape Performance Series

Author: Landscape Architecture Foundation (N/A)
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The Landscape Performance Series is a compilation of case studies, fact sheets, and a Benefits Toolkit, to support sustainable landscape design. It is available for designers, agencies, and advocates to help evaluate performance, show value, and make the case for landscapes.

Landscape Performance Series: Benefits Toolkit

Author: Landscape Architecture Foundation (N/A)
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The Benefits Toolkit, housed in the Landscape Performance Series, lists calculators and tools that directly help with quantifying the benefits of landscapes. Users can filter results by “Landscape Performance Benefit” including several options for water-related benefits.

Green Infrastructure Co-Benefits Valuation Tool

Author: Armstrong, Earth Economics, GI Exchange (2019)
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The Green Infrastructure Co-benefits Valuation Tool is intended to provide a framework, methods, and values to support rapid screening-level analysis of the costs and benefits associated with a range of GI investments. The tool itself is based in Microsoft Excel and comes with a users guide and fact sheet.

EPA Tools and Resources Webinar Series

Author: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N/A)
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The EPA Tools and Resources Webinar Series provides a monthly update on EPA tools and resources available to help inform decision-making. Each webinar focuses on a single tool and recordings are kept available online to watch at a later date.

Dialogue on Diversity: Broadening the voices in urban and community forestry

Author: McDonough et al., US Forest Service (2003)
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Dialogue on Diversity: Broadening the Voices in Urban and Community Forestry reports the results of a national attempt to increase diversity in urban forestry efforts. This US Forestry project piloted a method of expanding urban forestry engagement by holding workshops across 11 different sites. This report showed that with enough effort, successful workshops can be held that identify new benefits for urban forestry.

From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City

Author: Hamil Pearsall, Clark University (2010)
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From brown to green? Assessing social vulnerability to environmental gentrification in New York City uses multiple linear regression to examine which factors determine if environmental improvements lead to gentrification. The report finds populations with low or fixed income such as seniors, people with disabilities, and people dependent on federal assistance can be significantly impacted by environmental gentrification. Areas that were redeveloped adjacent to other desirable amenities such as waterfront access, and easy public transit access experienced higher ecological gentrification.

An Equitable Water Future

Author: US Water Alliance (2017)
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An Equitable Water Future highlights the main challenges and main solutions in water equity in the United States. There are 1.4 million Americans without access to modern plumbing. Affordability can also contribute to water inequity, the bottom 20% can pay 1/5 of their income on water bills. Communities might have disproportionate impacts from historical water quality threats such as nuclear testing or lead pipes. Examples of projects and organizations that are addressing these equity issues are provided. Equity and climate resilience are also discussed.

Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs

Author: EPA (2016)
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Drinking Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) is a synopsis of utilities across the nation performing customer assistance programs. Bill discount, flexible terms, and temporary assistance are common programs. The report details specific examples of each of these CAPs and examines issues with the scope and targeting of CAPs.

Towards a New Paradigm of Urban Water Infrastructure: Identifying Goals and Strategies to Support Multi-Benefit Municipal Wastewater Treatment

Author: Harris-Lovett, Lienert, & Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley (2018)
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Towards a New Paradigm of Urban Water Infrastructure: Identifying Goals and Strategies to Support Multi-Benefit Municipal Wastewater Treatment examines the decision making barriers to adopting multibenefit solutions. Transitioning to a new paradigm of water management that supports and advances projects with multiple benefits will require new approaches, tools, and systems. This article attempts to identify the obstacles for these new requirements through a study from the San Francisco Bay Area.

A mixed-methods approach to strategic planning for multi-benefit regional water infrastructure

Author: Harris-Lovett, Lienert, & Sedlak, University of California, Berkeley (2019)
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A mixed-methods approach to strategic planning for multi-benefit regional water infrastructure presents a mix-methods approach for strategic planning to achieve multi-benefit outcomes. This approach can be used with stakeholders to identify agreements and to clarify technical and future uncertainties. The research was conducted using a case study in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Green Cities: Good Health

Author: University of Washington, U.S. Forest Service, and Urban and Community Forestry (N/A)
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Green Cities: Good Health is an online compilation and synthesis of research related to urban green spaces and human health and well-being. The website includes introductory material, summaries of current research into the numerous benefits of urban green space, future research, and a comprehensive list of references.

Climate Change: Opportunities to Reduce Federal Fiscal Exposure

Author: U.S. Government Accountability Office (2019)
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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released an analysis of the economic costs and benefits of climate change to U.S. sectors and regions. This report focuses on the fiscal exposure faced by the U.S. federal government to climate change risks.

Life cycle based analysis of demands and emissions for residential water-using appliances

Author: Lee & Tansel, (2012)
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Life cycle based analysis of demands and emissions for residential water-using appliances focuses on the indirect consumption and environmental impacts from end-use water demand of household appliances. It quantifies the energy and greenhouse gas emissions from three residential water-using appliances using life-cycle analysis.

The value of public and private green spaces under water restrictions

Author: MacDonald et al., (2010)
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The value of public and private green spaces under water restrictions analyzes the economic impact of outdoor watering restrictions on private and public landscapes. The results show that outdoor watering restrictions do not have an impact on the value of private landscapes, but may have implications for public landscape usage.

From Projects to Portfolios: Mainstreaming Large-Scale Investment in Integrated Infrastructure

Author: Martin et al., Earth Economics (2018)
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The report From Projects to Portfolios by Earth Economics is a helpful guide and resource for municipal, NGO, and charitable organizations seeking to advance investment in integrated, also known as green, infrastructure. The report is structured to be used as a quick reference guide, or a more in-depth resource, complete with detailed appendices and online links to additional materials.

The Blueprint for Increased Investment in Green Infrastructure

Author: Earth Economics (2018)
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The Blueprint for Increased Investment in Green Infrastructure is a comprehensive resource for water managers and other decision makers seeking to start or expand investment in green infrastructure. The Blueprint presents five major cultural and institutional shifts that are required at the municipal level for the grown in green infrastructure. Data, tools, tips, and other resources are also provided.

Methods for Evaluating Temporal Groundwater Quality Data and Results of Decadal-Scale Changes in Chloride, Dissolved Solids, and Nitrate Concentrations in Groundwater in the United States, 1988–2010

Author: Lindsey & Rupert, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (2012)
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Methods for Evaluating Temporal Groundwater Quality Data and Results of Decadal-Scale Changes in Chloride, Dissolved Solids, and Nitrate Concentrations in Groundwater in the United States, 1988–2010 analyzes groundwater quality trends in the United States between 1988 and 2010. Samples were extracted in two sampling events (the first event between 1988 and 2000 and the second event between 2001 and 2010) from 1,235 wells residing in 56 well networks in and measurements taken for dissolved solids, chloride, and nitrate. The comparison of the two sampling events revealed significant increases in dissolved solids, chloride, and nitrate concentrations from the 1988-2000 period to the 2001-2010 period.

Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) Water Pollution Search

Author: U.S. EPA (N/A)
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Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) Water Pollution Search is an online tool that allows users to search discharge monitoring reports (DMR) and the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The tool allows the user to search by reporting year (data available for 2007-2018), discharge area (specific location or watershed), pollutant (i.e., nitrogen, phosphorus, metals, etc.), and the discharging industry or facility (i.e., publicly owned treatment works, industrial point sources). The goal of the tool is to increase awareness and transparency in order to encourage compliance with pollution regulations.

Sustainability and the U.S. EPA, Chapter 4: Sustainability Assessment and Management: Process, Tools, and Indicators

Author: National Research Council (2011)
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Sustainability Assessment and Management: Process, Tools, and Indicators provides an overview on how to approach sustainability assessment and management. The book chapter includes guidance on 1) problem definition, planning and scoping, 2) selected sustainability tools and their applications, 3) tradeoff analysis, 4) communication of results to decision makers, and 5) stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The section on sustainability tools includes discussions on various environmental assessment techniques including risk assessment, life-cycle assessment, benefit-cost analysis, ecosystem services valuation, integrated assessment models, sustainability impact assessment, and environmental justice tools.

Impacts of Urban Water Conservation Strategies on Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Health: Southern California as a Case Study

Author: Sokolow et al., (2016)
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Impacts of Urban Water Conservation Strategies on Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Health: Southern California as a Case Study expands on a 2014 health impact assessment of California’s urban water conservation strategies to evaluate the impacts of two possible conservation approaches: banning landscape irrigation and expanding alternative water sources (e.g. recycled water). Findings show that expanding alternative water sources can have a highly positive impact on public health.

Accounting for U.S. ecosystem services at national and subnational scales

Author: Bagstad, Ingram, & Shapiro, John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis (N/A)
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Accounting for U.S. ecosystem services at national and subnational scales is an ongoing project of the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis to create a natural capital accounting tool within the United States. Natural capital accounting involves the national compilation of data, models, valuation frameworks in order to encourage the protection of natural capital. The project aims to provide quantified and monetized ecosystem services on a national and subnational scale.

Progress Toward Establishing a National Assessment of Water Availability and Use

Author: Alley et al., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (2013)
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Progress Toward Establishing a National Assessment of Water Availability and Use discusses the need for a National Water Census within the United States. The goal of the Water Census would be to provide a comprehensive database that would inform managers and decision-makers on the water availability and water quality in the nation. The report illustrates the framework through various regional and national applications. The report also asserts that in order for a Water Census to be successful, there must be sufficient collaboration between organizations and agencies.

Water-quality trends in the nation’s rivers and streams, 1972-2012 Data preparation, statistical methods, and trend results

Author: Oelsner et al., U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (2017)
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Water-quality trends in the nation’s rivers and streams, 1972-2012 Data preparation, statistical methods, and trend results analyzes surface water quality trends in the United States. The report includes a discussion of 1) the compilation and processing of water quality data, 2) statistical methods used to analyze the data, 3) modeling considerations, 4) sensitivity analysis, and 5) quantitative results for each site analyzed. The study includes water quality metrics for water quality concentrations and loads (i.e., salinity, sediment, nutrient, major ion, carbon), aquatic habitats (i.e., algae, invertebrates, fish), and pesticide concentrations and loads.

Integrated Water Management Resource Center

Author: American Rivers (N/A)
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Integrated Water Management Water Resources Center is a guide to American Rivers’ integrated water resources management, or ‘One Water’ approach. The American Rivers’ integrated approach includes a circular process of 1) identification of the approach, 2) understanding co-benefits, 3) identification of the suitable tools, 4) development of a stakeholder strategy, 5) implementation of the strategy, and 6) monitoring, evaluating, and adapting. This approach involves communication and collaboration throughout the entire process. The website contains numerous links to documents, websites, and video files that help support the many aspects of an integrated water resources management approach.

Green Infrastructure & Health Guide

Author: Oregon Health and Outdoors Initiative, Willamette Partnership, Oregon Public Health Institute (OPHI), The Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange (2018)
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Green Infrastructure & Health Guide provides the tools, resources, and evidence for the connections between green infrastructure (GI) and human health. The chapters include Health Challenges and GI Solutions, GI and Health: What is the connection?, Nature Experiences and Health: Current evidence, Shared Language, Identifying Community Health Needs, Make the Case: Business and more, Community Engagement: Why and how, GI Siting and Design: Considerations for health, Evaluating Health Benefits of GI, and Needs and Next Steps. The appendices include Detailed Community Engagement Guidelines, Sample Tree Planting Health Survey, Sample Logic Model Linking Tree Planting and Health, and Sample City Health and Outdoors Opportunities Assessments.

National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution

Author: U.S. EPA (2005)
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National Management Measures to Protect and Restore Wetlands and Riparian Areas for the Abatement of Nonpoint Source Pollution is a guidance document that is targeted at state level employees seeking management options for non-point source (NPS) pollution. The report provides guidance on reducing NPS pollution through wetland and riparian area restoration and protection and vegetated treatment systems. The report also includes further resources for NPS pollution management practices as well as relevant case studies organized by territory, state, and tribe.

Valuing the Environmental Benefits of Urban Water Conservation: Final Report

Author: Coughlin et al., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, California Urban Watershed Council (2006)
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Valuing the Environmental Benefits of Urban Water Conservation Final Report presents a method for valuing the environmental benefits of water conservation and efficiency. Water savings of a particular water conservation strategy are represented by the reduction in water demand, as well as the resulting co-benefits, including enhanced fish habitats, increased recreational opportunities, and improved water quality as a result of wetland filtration. The report provides a methodology for monetizing these environmental benefits so as to provide utilities with a method for comparing the benefits and costs of various best management practices.

One Water Roadmap: The Sustainable Management of Life’s Most Essential Resource

Author: US Water Alliance (2016)
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One Water Roadmap: The Sustainable Management of Life’s Most Essential Resource provides a comprehensive “One Water” framework for the United States. The report is divided into three sections: 1) a discussion on the current landscape of water issues, 2) a discussion of the vision and foundational features of the One Water approach, and 3) a discussion of current successes in utilizing the One Water approach and further improvements. The qualitative framework encompasses a broad range of management strategies and provides guidance for all sectors.

Preliminary Data Summary of Urban Storm Water Best Management Practices

Author: U.S. EPA (1999)
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Preliminary Data Summary of Urban Storm Water Best Management Practices synthesizes existing information on costs and environmental benefits of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). The major goals of stormwater BMPs are flow control, temperature and pH control, and pollutant removal, including solids, oxygen-demanding substances, nitrogen and phosphorus, pathogens, petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, and synthetic organics. The environmental benefits cited include hydrological and habitat benefits, human health benefits (direct contact and seafood), and aesthetic benefits (property value/public perception, dual use systems using less space). The report provides a recommendation for stormwater BMPs and their associated costs and benefits.

Sustainable Rivers Project

Author: The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2011)
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The Sustainable Rivers Project aims to enhance river habitats through modification of dam operations. The report includes eight case studies on sustainable river projects conducted throughout the United States. The benefits of these river preservation strategies include improved water quality, flood protection, enhanced fish habitats, increased tourism and recreation, and improved community livability and aesthetics. The Sustainable Rivers Projects also works to encourage community engagement, particularly by those living on or near the rivers, by providing outreach, workshops, and meetings.

Green Remediation: Incorporating Sustainable Environmental Practices into Remediation of Contaminated Sites

Author: U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (2008)
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Green Remediation: Incorporating Sustainable Environmental Practices into Remediation of Contaminated Sites contains fourteen case studies conducted throughout the United States that incorporated sustainable environmental practices into remediation of contaminated sites. The report names this strategy ‘green remediation’ and defines it as, “the practice of considering all environmental effects of remedy implementation and incorporating options to maximize net environmental benefit of cleanup actions”. The case studies provide examples of how green remediation strategies can increase the net benefit of cleanup, provide project cost savings, and expand the universe of long-term property use or reuse options without compromising cleanup goals.

Envision Project Awards Map

Author: Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (N/A)
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Envision Project Awards map contains interactive case studies of projects from across the globe that have received Envision awards for sustainability. Envision is a comprehensive framework of 60 criteria that encompass the full range of environmental, social, and economic impacts and are used to assess project sustainability. These 60 sustainability criteria, called ‘credits’, are arranged in five categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk.

Vision and GIS Case Studies

Author: The Trust for Public Land (N/A)
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Vision and GIS Case Studies presents sixteen case studies that utilized the Trust for Public Land’s Vision and GIS service. The service employs a ‘greenprinting’ tool that uses innovative research and mapping techniques to design parks, protect open space, and deliver community-driven conservation plans. A ‘greenprint’ provides both a long-term vision for conservation and a physical plan to protect a communities precious public spaces. The Trust for Public Land’s services also help communities develop partnerships, inform policies, and attain funding for land conservation efforts.