Stormwater infrastructure is critical for managing stormwater runoff from weather events and maintaining typical daily community operations. It keeps residential properties, businesses, and roads from flooding during typical weather events. However, past severe storms such as Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy tested existing infrastructure capacities and proved there was a need for resiliency and upgrades. Green Infrastructure is the practice of using the natural environment and non-conventional practices to help manage stormwater and reduce the burden on conventional stormwater systems. Green infrastructure is an effective means to supplement stormwater infrastructure, provide additional environmental benefits, and introduce aesthetic landscape opportunities in the suburban environment. In this section, existing stormwater and green infrastructure practices and existing landscape and amenity areas within the Primary Study Area were observed and analyzed with the intent to make recommendations toward improving the Baldwin downtown and commercial corridor’s economic vitality and storm resiliency from future events through infrastructure and landscape aesthetic improvements.
On Future Development
“Based on the NYSDEC Local Watershed and Water Quality report, Atlantic Ocean/Long Island Sound Waterbody Inventory/Priority Waterbodies List, both [Parsonage and Milburn Creeks] are classified as Impaired Waterbodies, with the main pollutant source coming from stormwater runoff. Therefore, it would be environmentally sensible that any future development within this area incorporate green infrastructure and stormwater quality practices in order to improve stormwater quality prior to discharge to the creeks.”
Opportunities for Green Infrastructure
“Opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure are virtually endless. Any site, road, commercial building, residential building, public space, etc. can implement a green infrastructure practice that will collectively reduce downstream flooding potential and realize various environmental and aesthetic benefits. The major limiting factors will be the upfront implementation and maintenance costs and engineering logistics due to site specific limitations.”