The SNEP Program Year in Review: 2022
EPA’s Region 1’s Southeast New England Program is a multi-faceted program with many key partners. SNEP has published the third annual Year in Review summary document, Year in Review: 2022, which includes contributions from the SNEP Watershed Implementation Grants (SWIG) program, the SNEP Network, the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program.
The SNEP Network’s 2022 Year in Review
In 2022, the Network continued to build capacity at the organizational, community, and regional levels. Together, Network partners collaborated with communities, municipal, state, federal and tribal entities to identify common roadblocks to advance regional stormwater management, climate resilience, and funding and financing goals. This past year, the Network expanded its capacity in planning and community engagement by bringing in the Southeastern Regional Planning Economic and Development District (SRPEDD) as a Network partner.
This year, the Network has completed many of its multi-year projects and initiatives, including the the following:
- The New England Stormwater Retrofit Manual: The New England Stormwater Retrofit Guidance Manual is a key tool for improving the use of green infrastructure retrofits in tight urban areas to manage stormwater volume and reduce pollutants entering local water bodies.
- The StewMAP project: The Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (Stew-Map) project team completed the final analysis of the survey results, and wrapped up the project. The products, interactive visualizations mapping organizational networks, and public data are now available to download on the SNEP Network Website.
- Bylaw Review Curriculum: SNEP Network partners Mass Audubon, Cape Cod Commission and the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative completed the Bylaw Review Curriculum and successfully delivered 2 workshops in Massachusetts. The training will help participants understand the links between climate impacts and land use, define nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, and low impact development, understand local regulations in reducing costs and impacts, and gain experience through an interactive exercise in using the bylaw review tool to prioritize local updates.
- Buffer Restoration Guide: As a result of the technical assistance from the SNEP Network to assist with buffer restoration along the Maidford River, the SNEP Network developed and launched a buffer restoration guide. This guide is intended to assist public and private property owners in RI and southeast MA who are interested in restoring and improving buffers along a river, pond, lake or the coast.
- Town of Charleston: For the past two years, the SNEP Network has assisted the Town of Charlestown with drafting a conservation development ordinance for new subdivisions that incorporates stormwater management and low impact development (LID) standards. The Town of Charlestown successfully adopted the conservation development ordinance on August 31st, 2022.
- The Canoe River Aquifer Pilot Project: Through a facilitative process, the Canoe River Aquifer project team assisted the 5 communities in the Canoe River Aquifer to narrow down a list of over 200 localized projects down to 16 prioritized project clusters. This prioritized list will allow the communities to develop project proposals to seek implementation funding.
- Town of Portsmouth: The SNEP Portsmouth project team, led by Throwe Environmental and Elizabeth Scott, published the “Climate Resilience Planning and Financing Strategy Report”. The report details findings and recommendations after a series of multiple assessments and planning exercises with the Town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.
In addition to the project milestones, in September, the SNEP Network selected 10 community assistance projects, awarding free technical assistance to 8 communities and 1 tribe. A complete list can be found HERE.
The Southeast New England Program Network (SNEP Network) is a project of the New England Environmental Finance Center.
Photo: Brian Byrnes gives a tour of stormwater infrastructure at the Providence Stormwater Innovation Center at Roger Williams Park (11/4/2022). Photo Credit: SNEP Network