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Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Green Infrastructure for Urban Watershed Management: An Ohio Case Study

1
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Research Participation Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
2
Office of Research and Development, National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
3
Mill Creek Alliance, 1662 Blue Rock St. Cincinnati, OH 45223, USA
4
Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 26 W. Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(4), 738; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040738
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Challenges of Water Management and Governance in Cities)
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Abstract

Many older Midwestern cities of the United States are challenged by costly aging water infrastructure while working to revitalize urban areas. These cities developed much of their water infrastructure before the Clean Water Act became law and have struggled to mitigate contaminant loading to surface waters. An increasingly common approach to resolving these challenges is the integration of green infrastructure with gray infrastructure improvements to manage point and non-point source pollution. Stakeholder engagement and collaboration during green infrastructure planning can help address impairments and promote community involvement through the revitalization process. Mill Creek watershed in Cincinnati, OH, USA has seen improvement in watershed integrity indicators after being impaired for many decades by flashy hydrology, combined sewer overflows, and water quality degradation. A workshop was conducted to examine how integrated green and gray infrastructure has contributed to improvements in Mill Creek over the past several decades. This effort sought to examine internal and external factors that influence a multi-stakeholder watershed approach to planning, implementing, and evaluating green infrastructure techniques. Community investment and physical infrastructure, access to datasets, and skills and knowledge exchange were essential in improving use attainment in the Mill Creek. Strategic placement of green infrastructure has the potential to maximize water quality benefits and ecosystem services. However, green infrastructure deployment has been more opportunistic due to the diversity of stakeholder and decision maker interests. Future work should consider collaborative approaches to address scaling challenges and workforce development to maximize green infrastructure benefits. View Full-Text
Keywords: use-attainment; social network analysis; urban planning; governance; social infrastructure use-attainment; social network analysis; urban planning; governance; social infrastructure
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Shifflett, S.D.; Newcomer-Johnson, T.; Yess, T.; Jacobs, S. Interdisciplinary Collaboration on Green Infrastructure for Urban Watershed Management: An Ohio Case Study. Water 2019, 11, 738.

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