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Nature-Enabled Stormwater Storage and Treatment

The SSPEED Center has proposed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Stormwater Center of Excellence to focus on nature-based solutions titled, “Nature-Enabled Stormwater Storage and Treatment” (NESST). Our goal will be to partner with other universities who focus on nature-based solutions as well as expand and build on our existing relationships with the Coastal Prairie Conservancy (CPC), which protects over 30,000 acres of coastal prairie, as well as partnerships with leadership in Upper Cypress Creek, Brays Bayou and The Woodlands.


Through this Center, we will work to better understand the hydraulic impact of nature-based solutions. To achieve this, we will create a series of workshops to connect city officials, community leaders, industry professionals and concerned citizens and work on collaborative opportunities to incorporate nature-based solutions for drainage and stormwater control strategies. These efforts will be coordinated to drive innovation in the development and implementation of nature-based solutions for stormwater storage and treatment.


Our researchers also plan to include human-modified natural systems such as wetlands receiving stormwater runoff as part of the drainage network. We will accomplish this overall objective by research, partnering with regional institutions and technical assistance to communities that leverage existing relationships, facilities and centers working in areas of flood prediction, climate resilience, ecosystem design and advanced water treatment. At the core of the center will be the idea that to advance nature-based solutions for stormwater we need to continually cross-pollinate existing design ideas with advances from related scientific pursuits including the protection of urban centers from flooding, the design and construction of coastal ecosystems, advances in water treatment technologies and knowledge of the composition of harmful microbial communities in stormwater runoff.

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