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.
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