NMSA establishes “National Stormwater Day”

Oct. 24, 2023
The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance recognizes Nov. 16 to commemorate the promulgation of the NPDES Phase 1 MS4 program, and plans to host a webinar that day to reflect on the stormwater sector.

The National Municipal Stormwater Alliance has announced that it is recognizing November 16 as “National Stormwater Day.”

The date commemorates November 16, 1990, when the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program was promulgated in the Federal Register.

Since 1990, thousands of communities, along with qualifying institutions and other entities, have developed MS4 programs and implemented millions of stormwater control measures collectively to address urban runoff pollution.

“A central mission of NMSA is to raise public awareness of the stormwater sector and increase the level of understanding of stormwater as a resource,” said NMSA Chair Scott Taylor. “We felt that a good way to meet this mission was to establish a day of recognition of stormwater and the MS4 program.”

NMSA says that National Stormwater Day not only recognizes the establishment of the MS4 program, but also celebrates and highlights the many efforts around the country to increase the awareness of stormwater. States such as California, Wisconsin and Ohio have established stormwater awareness weeks while jurisdictions such as St. Cloud Florida and Omaha Nebraska have also joined in the overall effort to raise the profile of stormwater. These examples highlight the organic and nation-wide desire to raise the issue of stormwater management.

“When you look across the country, you see hundreds or even thousands of examples of community- based programs to engage with the public on the significance of stormwater management,” said NMSA Executive Director Seth Brown. “School curriculum in many areas now includes information on watersheds and the impacts of urbanization. With these grass-roots efforts occurring, it is only fitting that a national recognition be made to mirror the great work happening at the local level.”

NMSA is hosting a webinar on November 16, 2023, from 1-2:15 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) that will feature speakers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE; Reston, Va.).

The webinar will reflect on stormwater quality approaches and improvements over the last three decades, as well as the work yet to be done. In addition, participants will receive an update on future report card “grades” reflecting the state of the stormwater sector. These grades build upon the momentum gained from stormwater receiving its first national grade in the 2021 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card.

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