Seth Brown, Executive Director of the National Municipal Stormwater Alliance shares an overview of his presentation presented as part of the webinar ' Reducing Trash in Waterways.'
This presentation shared information resulting from an effort led by the National Municipal Stormwater Alliance (NMSA) to gather information on stormwater and trash programs at the community level. This survey inquired on the prevalence of stormwater and trash efforts, the means used to capture trash in MS4 programs, the metrics used to quantify captured trash, the pattern of trash reduction and capturing in MS4 permits, and the level of reporting on trash capture and reduction efforts. This survey generated 88 responses from communities across the country. The results from this generated the following findings:
· Stormwater and trash is a fairly or very significant issue in most communities
· Most communities have trash control/capture in their MS4 permit
· Most communities do not track or report trash capture/reduction
· There is a lack of consistency in metrics for trash capture
· There is a lack of consistency in leadership of trash capture efforts
· There is no clear consensus on how to address coordination challenges
· Most trash reduction/capture programs are associated with public education programs and trash removal from waterways
· Interest in sector for community of practice, leadership, and a regulatory crediting to incentivize trash capture in stormwater programs
Several of these findings are consistent with anecdotal findings in the sector. For instance, it is common for varying communities to use different metrics for trash loading assessment as well as for identifying metrics to estimate the magnitude of trash capture and/or reduction. Further, the focus on aquatic trash has been predominantly focused on the downstream/receiving waters context (e.g. pervasiveness of plastics in oceans). This has led to a vacuum of leadership when considering upstream/source areas for aquatic trash generation and delivery.