Every rainstorm our gutters and parking lots turn in concrete funnels. The water is channeled of our properties and for the most part sent directly into the James River.
The benefit is safe conditions for moving around our city. The negative is that an important step is skipped.
“Urban runoff pollution happens where there’s a large rain event,” said Jennifer Ciminelli, research and data coordinator for the Center for Environmental Studies and Rice Rivers Center. “Because this area is so impervious, no water is penetrating through the ground and filtering through the natural processes.”
To address water runoff pollution, VCU’s Center for Environmental Studies will partner with Armstrong High School students on a high-tech project to map an area spanning the Monroe Park and MCV campuses and neighborhoods in between, and develop a green infrastructure plan. The study is supported by a $59,773 Environmental Protection Agency grant.
VCU is the only awardee in Virginia, and one of only 22 nationwide. Greg Garman, Ph.D., director of the center, is principal investigator and Ciminelli is co-PI.
The project will partner with VCU’s Office of Sustainability, Rice Rivers Center and Division of Community Engagement. The neighborhood associations of Carver, Jackson Ward and Monroe Ward, and the Richmond Department of Public Utilities and Richmond Public Arts Commission, will provide support.