Local Organizations to Help You Soak Up the Rain

Many organizations can help you learn how to soak up the rain and protect your local waters. Through these organizations you may find training materials, workshops and other educational activities, demonstrations, and volunteer opportunities. A list including some of the organizations in each state is provided below.


Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Exit
CT DEEP provides information about state stormwater regulations, Low Impact Development (LID), sustainable landscaping, native plants, and additional resources on these topics.

Stormwater Permitting Exit

Nonpoint Source Pollution Exit

Contacts: Stormwater Regulations: Nisha Patel at nisha.patel@ct.gov or 860-424-3840 Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Landscaping: Mary Sherwin at mary.sherwin@ct.gov or 860-424-3346

Connecticut Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (CT NEMO) Exit
CT NEMO primarily provides assistance to municipal officials and others on how to balance development and the protection of natural resources. CT NEMO can provide workshops on planning, stormwater, and low impact development (LID) topics.

Contact: Michael Dietz at michael.dietz@uconn.edu or 860-345-5225

Park Watershed, Inc. (formerly Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative) Exit
Park Watershed, Inc. collaborates within a diverse network of teachers, scientists, historians, artists, Boy and Girl Scouts, engineers, lawyers, and others to study local natural resources, share information, and complete site specific improvement projects. Through project work, such as building rain gardens, the group raises awareness about the benefits of green infrastructure and demonstrates ways in which citizens cultivate vibrant natural places.

Contact: Mary Pelletier at maryp@parkwatershed.org

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Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Stormwater Program Exit
To connect to state resources related to Soak up the Rain practices, contact Kathy Hoppe at Kathy.M.Hoppe@maine.gov or 207-540-3134.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Exit
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension provides educational materials, videos, and soil testing. Information also includes a rain garden fact sheet Exit.

In southern Maine contact: Mary Gilbertson at mgilbertson@pwd.org or 207-774-5961

Soil and Water Conservation Districts Exit
Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide hands-on training on natural resource issues and technical assistance to landowners on a variety of land and water issues. Some of the Maine district offices have been involved with rain gardens. Contact the office nearest you for more information and to see if they are active in this area.

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Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP), Stormwater Exit
MADEP provides information about federal, state and local stormwater regulations and offers grants for water resource planning and restoration.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Exit

Contacts: Stormwater requirements: Fred Civian at frederick.civian@state.ma.us or 617-292-5821
Grant opportunities: Jane Peirce at jane.peirce@state.ma.us or 508-767-2792

Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (MACZM) Exit
MACZM provides landscaping tips and offers grants to municipalities in Massachusetts coastal watersheds to reduce stormwater impacts from roads, highways, or parking areas.

Contact: Jan Smith at jan.smith@state.ma.us or 617-626-1231

Blackstone River Coalition Exit
The Coalition's Tackling Stormwater in the Blackstone River Watershed focuses on education and outreach to four audiences: homeowners, business owners, local decision makers, and developers/engineers, spotlighting low impact development practices and simple stormwater infiltration techniques.

Contact: Peter Coffin, Coordinator, at peter.coffin@zaptheblackstone.org or 508-753-6087

Charles River Watershed Association Exit
As part of its Blue Cities Initiative Exitthe Association promotes the use of green infrastructure (GI) at various scales ranging from a sub-watershed, neighborhood, street and individual site. The Initiative encourages water centric planning and design and has implemented several demonstration projects showcasing the use of rain gardens, porous pavements, stormwater tree pits etc. within and outside the Charles' watershed. Visit their website for more information on various educational resources offered including the Blue Cities Guide, factsheets on GI practices Exitand training / consulting opportunities.

Contact: Pallavi Kalia Mande, Director of Blue Cities, at pmande@crwa.org or 781-788-0007

Eight Towns and the Great Marsh Committee (ETGM) Exit
The committee works with homeowners to reduce stormwater, water pollution and water use through LID practices, organic landscaping, and other actions. ETGM and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission also work with communities on stormwater bylaw development, establishment of stormwater committees, and infrastructure mapping

Contact: Peter Phippen, Coastal Coordinator, at pphippen@mvpc.org or 978-374-0519

Ipswich River Watershed Association Exit
The Association promotes the Greenscapes Program and has installed demonstration projects at its Headquarters in Ipswich, including a native plant demonstration garden, rain garden, green roof, permeable paving parking lot, cistern, and rain barrel. Their website has factsheets, pictures and information about the practices.

Contact: Cynthia Ingelfinger, Outreach Coordinator, at cingelfinger@ipswichriver.org or 978-412-8200

Massachusetts Watershed Coalition Exit
The Coalition launched a Billion Gallons a Year campaign in 2012 to encourage homeowners, community groups, business and schools to cleanse polluted storm runoff. MWC offers workshops, guidance and demonstrations of simple low-cost practices to reduce runoff, and also assists towns with environmental planning and water restoration.

Contact: Ed Himlan, Executive Director, at mwc@commonwaters.org or 978-534-0379

Mystic River Watershed Association Exit
The Association promotes green infrastructure throughout the highly urbanized watershed, and has installed rain gardens, offered rain barrels to their membership, and coordinated a youth stormwater education program.

Contact: Beth MacBlane, Outreach Coordinator, at Beth@MysticRiver.org or 781-316-3438

Neponset River Watershed Association (NepRWA) Exit
NepRWA partners with local municipalities to plan green infrastructure projects on public and private property. NepRWA, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, formed a coalition of towns dedicated to reducing impacts of stormwater pollution through its Neponset Stormwater Partnership. Staff have performed work on outreach and education, bylaw evaluation, and stormwater management planning for Town Departments. Additional information is available at neponsetstormwater.org. Exit

Contact: Ian Cooke, Executive Director, at cooke@neponset.org or 781-575-0354 x 305

North and South Rivers Watershed Association Exit
The Association promotes the Greenscapes Program to encourage environmentally-friendly garden and landscaping practices. They also work with schools to provide environmental education and help communities carry out stormwater bylaw review and development and install raingardens, permeable pavement and other stormwater practices.

Contact: Debbie Cook, Marketing and Communications Director, at Debbie@nsrwa.org or 781-659-8168

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Exit
The Refuge's Slow the Flow Campaign encourages landowners in the Plum Island Estuary watershed to make lawn care and landscaping more environmentally friendly.

Contact: Nancy Pau, Wildlife Biologist, at Nancy_Pau@fws.gov or 978-465-5753 x211

The Millers River Watershed Council, Inc. Exit
The Council provides stormwater educational resources to towns and individuals throughout the watershed, as well as LID bylaw technical assistance to towns in the watershed's eastern half in Worcester County through a Section 319 Program grant in collaboration with the Montachusett Regional Planning Commission.

Contact: Ivan Ussach, Watershed Coordinator, at council@millersriver.net or 978-248-9491

Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Exit
The PVPC promotes the Greenscapes program and hosts Think Blue Massachusetts, a stormwater outreach campaign. Its environmental staff assists towns with environmental planning, bylaw review and development, and water quality restoration.

Contact: Patty Gambarini, Senior Environmental Planner, at pgambarini@pvpc.org or 413-781-6045

Salem Sound Coastwatch Exit
The organization promotes works with homeowners, businesses, municipalities, students and others to educate and encourage the use of environmentally-friendly landscaping and gardening practices through the Greenscapes Program, low impact development, and other management practices that conserve water, prevent toxic runoff and improve water quality.

Contact: Barbara Warren, Executive Director, at barbara.warren@salemsound.org or 978-741-7900

Stormwater Matters Exit
The Stormwater Matters program provides education and outreach materials to municipalities throughout New England.  Stormwater Matters is produced by the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council Exit, a non-profit watershed alliance. The Council assembled a team of diverse watershed professionals including engineering consultants, municipal and state officials, science teachers, and interested citizens to create these stormwater outreach materials. The "Stormwater Matters" logo visually depicts the message that stormwater affects water quality; this recognizable logo fosters a momentum of increased understanding of stormwater issues in a community.

Contact: Nancy A. Bryant, Stormwater Matters Program at info@suasco.org or 978-461-0735

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Exit
NH DES publishes several fact sheets and publications related to stormwater and watershed management. DES also hosts workshops/trainings and a Watershed blog, and can connect you to local watershed groups.

Soak Up the Rain New Hampshire (SOAK) Exit is a voluntary program managed by NHDES with the goal of protecting and restoring clean water in the state's lakes, streams, and coastal waters from the negative impacts of stormwater pollution. Through SOAK, NHDES and local partners provide resources and technical assistance to help homeowners install rain gardens, rain barrels, dry wells, and other practices to manage stormwater on their properties. Find lots of information and resources, including SOAK stories about projects around the state.

Contact: Barbara McMillan at barbara.mcmillan@des.nh.gov or 303-271-7889

University of New Hampshire (UNH) Cooperative Extension Exit
UNH Cooperative Extension provides New Hampshire citizens with research-based education and information, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions that strengthen youth, families and communities, sustain natural resources, and improve the economy.

Contact: Julia Peterson at julia.peterson@unh.edu or 603-862-6706

UNH Stormwater Center Exit
The UNH Stormwater Center is dedicated to the protection of water resources through effective stormwater management. The primary functions of the center are twofold: (i) Research and development of stormwater treatment systems, (ii) To provide resources to the stormwater management community. The Center has numerous reports, and resources on stormwater management.

Contact: Jamie Houle at james.houle@unh.edu or 603-767-7091

Hodgson Brook Restoration Project Exit
Hodgson Brook is a seven mile long urban stream in the heart of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Over 38% of the watershed is covered by impervious roads, parking lots and rooftops which have led to poor water quality and high flows in the brook. Working with the city Department of Public Works, local businesses and community volunteers, residential rain gardens, rain barrels, tree box filters and bioretention areas are being installed throughout the watershed. Over time, these practices which collect, filter and infiltrate stormwater will help reduce the amount of pollutants and the volume of stormwater entering the brook improving its overall health.

Contact: Candace J. Dolan at cjdolan@ccsnh.edu or 603-559-1529

Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership (PREP) Exit
PREP works with 52 towns and over 70 organizations to keep Seacoast waters clean and healthy. PREP creates educational materials and outreach events to raise awareness about stormwater and water pollution in the Piscataqua Region. PREP also gives grants to local municipalities to implement water pollution protection measures in their towns. PREP launched the Clean Water Music Series (link to www.CleanWaterMusic.com) in 2012 to promote caring for the region's waters while enjoying performances from local musicians. Follow PREP on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Jill Farrell at jill.farrell@unh.edu or 603-862-0724

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Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) Exit
Connect to the various water quality programs and resources at RIDEM, including information about actions citizens can take to improve water quality. Some specific programs include:

Stormwater Permitting Exit

Nonpoint Source Pollution Exit

University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension

URI Outreach Center Exit
Information and programs for citizens, communities, government agencies, and businesses.

RI NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Exit
NEMO provides training and resources to help local officials manage impacts of land use on water resources. Resources for municipal stormwater managers focusing on public education and outreach, are located at web.uri.edu/riss/ Exit

Contact: Lorraine Joubert at ljoubert@uri.edu or 401-874-2138

Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT)

As part of their stormwater management program, RIDOT has developed Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions, Exit a statewide stormwater education and outreach project. This was produced in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension, the RI Department of Environmental Management and RI municipalities. The website offers educational materials and methods for the general public, stormwater managers, environmental educators, and businesses.

Contact: Allison Hamel at ahamel@dot.ri.gov or 401-222-2023 x4097

Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District Exit
The Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District's function is to take available technical, financial and educational resources, whatever their source, and focus or coordinate these resources to meet the needs of the local land user and promote the conservation of soil, water and other natural resources.

Contact: Sara Churgin, District Manager Eastern Rhode Island Conservation District at schurgin.ericd@gmail.com or 401-934-0842 

Northern Rhode Island Conservation District (NRICD) Exit
NRICD is available for technical assistance with rain gardens and to develop and implement storm water outreach and education campaigns in Providence County and through collaborations throughout Rhode Island.

Contact: Gina DeMarco at gdemarco.nricd@verizon.net or 401-934-0840

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Vermont Green Infrastructure Collaborative Exit
An initiative of the VT Department of Environmental Conservation and the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Program at the University of Vermont, the VT Green Infrastructure Collaborative (GIC) aims to provide current data on green infrastructure performance and local application to resource managers. Through research and extension, the GIC aims to increase adoption of green stormwater infrastructure as a reliable tool to manage runoff.

Contact: Becky Tharp at rtharp@uvm.edu or 802-656-2514

Vermont Green Infrastructure Toolkit Exit
The Vermont Green Infrastructure Toolkit is a project of the ten Regional Planning Commissions of the Vermont Association for Planning and Development Agencies (VAPDA) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources' Watershed Management Division. In collaboration with the Vermont Planning Information Center, these webpages will serve as a clearinghouse of information useful to Vermont municipalities to explore how to promote the adoption of Green Infrastructure policies and practices to combat the problems caused by urban, suburban and rural stormwater runoff.

Contact: Dan Albrecht at dalbrecht@ccrpcvt.org or 802-846-4490, ext. *29

Let it Rain Exit
This Lake Champlain Basin-wide stormwater program offers financial and technical assistance for property owners willing to use green stormwater infrastructure to manage their runoff.

Contact: Holly Kreiner at holly@winooskinrcd.org or 802-288-8155 Ext 104

Lake Champlain Sea Grant Exit
A cooperative program of the University of Vermont and SUNY Plattsburg, Lake Champlain Sea Grant develops and supports research, outreach, and education programs, including information on reducing the stormwater footprint of properties.

Contact: Rebecca Tharp at rtharp@uvm.edu or 802-656-2514

Chittenden County Stream Team Exit
The Chittenden County Stream Team is a project to engage citizens across an eight-town area (Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Milton, Shelburne, South Burlington, Williston & Winooski) to implement projects to reduce non-point source pollution and stormwater volume at the local level. The project utilizes social networking tools to form a cadre of concerned citizens and professionals interested in hands-on activities to reduce the harmful effects of stormwater.

Contact: Holly Kreiner at holly@winooskinrcd.org or 802-288-8155 Ext 104

Lake Champlain International Exit
Lake Champlain International's BLUE® program helps homeowners reduce water pollution runoff by certifying homes as watershed friendly.

Contact: Juliana Dixon at Juliana@champlain.ngo or (802) 879-3466.

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