Graham Sustainability Institute

Performance Assessment of Green Infrastructure Projects in Lucas County, Ohio

Rain Garden

Principle Co‐Investigators

Cyndee Gruden, University of Toledo
Keri Gerwin, Toledo Metropolitan Council of Governments

Project Summary

In Lucas County, Ohio, nonpoint source pollution from storm water runoff has been identified as a significant cause of impairments to aquatic life. The Western Lake Erie Basin has experienced significant algal blooms over the past decade commonly attributed to nonpoint sources of contaminants including nutrients and suspended solids. In 2012, The USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) provided Surface Water Improvement Funds (SWIF) to Lucas County, Ohio to support the design and installation of innovative storm water management demonstration projects on public lands. As a result, several innovative storm water management demonstration projects are being designed and installed in Lucas County including rain gardens, wetlands, permeable pavement, and biofiltration.

Barriers to implementing storm water best management practices ( BMPs) in our region include comprehensive and comparable monitoring and local cost data. Storm water BMPs are often constructed without any performance assessment or cost comparison, which results in uninformed decisions about new installations. Funding for this project will enable the collection of performance monitoring and cost data for GLRI project assessment and evaluation as well as collaboration across multiple SWIF projects in Lucas County, Ohio. This project leverages over half a million dollars allocated by GLRI through the Ohio EPA to local stakeholders including the City of Toledo, City of Oregon, Lucas County Soil and Water, City of Whitehouse, Toledo Metroparks, and the University of Toledo. Project coordination will be facilitated through monthly Storm Water Action Group (SWAG) meetings hosted by Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments since most Lucas County SWIF Project Awardees