Press Release

Summit to Educate and Train Detroiters on Green Stormwater Infrastructure

March 23, 2018

Detroit –The Land + Water WORKS Coalition (LWWC), a partnership between nine local nonprofits convened by Detroit Future City, will host a summit that brings together community leaders from across the city to discuss how Detroit residents can collectively improve quality of life, create more flood resistant neighborhoods and reduce long-term costs on the overall waste water treatment system through green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) installations on Wednesday, March 21.

Billions of gallons of stormwater runoff and snowmelt flow into Detroit’s combined sewer system each year. During sizable wet weather events, stormwater runoff can overwhelm the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s combined sewage system, resulting in outflows of untreated wastewater into the Detroit and Rouge Rivers. The summit, moderated by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and radio host Stephen Henderson, will provide information about how residents can work together to transform underutilized land into open space amenities that help to protect our rivers and lakes, as well as how GSI can provide economic value and build a more vibrant and connected city.

“Of Detroit’s 139 square miles of land, 24 square miles of that land is vacant or underutilized, and can be transformed into beautiful community gathering spaces for residents to participate in recreational activities and connect to nature,” said Anika Goss-Foster, executive director, Detroit Future City. “The coalition is working with residents to create a greener, healthier and more sustainable Detroit.”

The LWWC operate as a liaison that engages residents around GSI, an alternative approach to wet weather management that uses land and buildings to control stormwater runoff in ways that transform vacant lots into beautiful community gathering spaces. The coalition also seeks to inform Detroiters about DWSD recently recalculated drainage fee rates, and how customers can potentially reduce their charges, as well as advances green stormwater infrastructure GSI to improve the quality of life in Detroit.

“As a coalition, we’re harnessing our collective knowledge of stormwater management and influence in Detroit neighborhoods to make a measurable impact toward equipping Detroiters with the wherewithal to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Erma Leaphart, conservation associate organizer, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.

The Land + Water WORKS summit will feature national and local experts, including Marc Cammarata, deputy commissioner of planning and environmental services at the Philadelphia Water Department; Laura Solano, ASLA, principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates; Khalil Ligon, Southeast Michigan outreach coordinator at the Alliance for the Great Lakes; Lisa Wallick, stormwater group manager of DWSD and Janet Attarian, Planning and Development Department, the City of Detroit. The event will take place at the Charles H. Wright Museum for African American History from 6 to 8 p.m.

To learn more about the Land + Water WORKS forums, workshops and summit, follow Detroit Future City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #DFCGreenCultureShift. For more information or questions, email or call Nicole Brown, Detroit Future City’s Sustainable Landscapes Manager, at (313) 259.4407.



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