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US $1 trillion Infrastructure Plan Program Must Include Green Infrastructure

September 08, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Minnpost.

“Natural assets – “green infrastructure” – can provide communities with invaluable ecosystem services that clean our air, filter our water, mitigate natural disasters and improve our quality of life. The Trump administration has called for a major investment in infrastructure. That includes systems that handle our rainfall and melted snow, such as stormwater management systems, water filtration plants and roadway curbs and gutters.

Offering an alluring alternative to this traditional “gray infrastructure,” green infrastructure handles rainfall runoff through vegetated buffer strips around surface water, forested habitat corridors and regenerated wetlands, among other options. But how do we pay for it?

Our research team has explored one way that communities can cut costs and promote better infrastructure: Let property owners buy and sell credits based on their stormwater runoff. We have also used this approach to encourage a partnership between urban and rural communities. By funding the latter to take some land out of farm/agriculture production, we can protect valuable surface water and animal habitat…”

Read on at: Minnpost.

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