Resources for Green Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure Guide: For Private Property Owners in New York City
produced by Riverkeeper and the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District
NYC Soil & Water Conservation District featured in videos!
Stormwater Pollution and Green Infrastructure Solutions
produced by Nassau County Soil & Water Conservation District
How Important is Green Infrastructure?
produced by Transformation Design Team at Pratt Institute
Why Does Sewage Flow Into Rivers Anyway?
produced by WNYC Radio
How Clean Is the Water?
The City has come a long way to improve the quality of our rivers, creeks, the harbor and the ocean in the last several decades since the passing of the federal Clean Water Act. Many of our waterways are now swimmable. Except when it rains.
The City is served by what is called a combined sewer system in which one set of pipes carry both household waste water and runoff from the streets. On a dry day the system works fine but on rainy days the increased volume of water (a mixture of waste water and stormwater) overwhelms the treatment plants and this mixture is often discharged into our waterways without any treatment. This is called Combined Sewer Overflows, or CSOs.
About two thirds of the City is served by the combined system, making this a serious problem that prevents us from meeting the federal Clean Water Act goal of fishable and swimmable waters.
For water quality data in the Hudson River and the Harbor
Hudson River Water Quality Data by the Riverkeeper
NYC Water Trail Association's Citizens' Water Quality Testing Program
NYC Department of Environmental Protection: Harbor Water
Urban Ocean Observatory at Davidson Laboratory
To learn what the City is doing to improve water quality
NYC Department of Environmental Protection: Stormwater
To visually understand the CIty's sewer infrastructure
Open Sewer Atlas NYC
To learn about the State's water quality programs
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation: Water Quality Information
To learn the role of the federal government and the Clean Water Act
Environmental Protection Agency Region 2
To learn how natural systems can make our city more resilient
Naturally Resilient Communities
To learn about the National Estuary Program in our region
NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program
For up-to-date information on what is happening with water quality improvement programs in NYC
Stormwater Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.) Coalition