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Credit for Going Green: Transfer of an Expert Elicitation Method

Credit for Going Green: Transfer of an Expert Elicitation Method

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Why this work?

Buffers are a well-established method to protect water quality, promote habitat, enhance biodiversity, and provide other services that benefit ecosystems and communities. While buffers could be used to satisfy water quality protection requirements in New Hampshire, regulators and communities lack synthesized, scientifically justified information to quantify the water quality and quantity control benefits of buffers, and compare them to those derived from other best management practices.

This project will develop consensus-based recommendations for pollutant load reduction performance curves that will help New Hampshire communities use buffers to meet in-stream pollution reduction targets. The work will be done in partnership between the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center, ROCA Communications, the Chesapeake Stormwater Network, the Narragansett Bay Reserve, and Waquoit Bay Reserve. 

About this project

The project team will work with an Advisory Committee made up of representatives of New Hampshire’s regulatory and MS4 communities to use an expert panel to quantify pollution removal efficiency and volume reduction when using buffers as a water quality best management practice. The process for facilitating the expert panel was developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program, and the team will use lessons learned and advice from leaders in the Chesapeake Bay to conduct a similar process in New Hampshire.

The Chesapeake Bay Program developed protocols and methodologies for a process that creates consistent and scientifically-defensible performance estimates for stormwater best management practices. Through reviewing data, literature, and expert testimony on quantifying best management practice performance, the expert panel will produce a consensus-based report of pollutant load reduction performance curves that meet the needs of New Hampshire communities and the standards established by regulators under MS4 permits. The project team will disseminate these findings through a report; targeted communication products; three workshops in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island; and a simple roadmap for the expert elicitation process.

Project lead and contact

Cory Riley, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Email:

To learn more, view the project factsheet (PDF).