Water + Ecosystem Function

Intent

This performance area intends to value water as a limited natural resource and control flood waters that comes along with storm surges by redefining how we view water in urban areas. Water is both necessary for basic human life and for a healthy ecosystem. Water must meet basic human needs as well as the needs of the local watershed. Meeting this goal requires minimizing the water consumed by people and reusing it multiple times (as rainwater, greywater and blackwater) before treating it and releasing it back into the environment.  In addition, flooding is a major concern on the Charleston peninsula.  With so much vacant land and pre-development conditions in the upper peninsula area the opportunity exists to promote low impact development and encourage developers to utilize stormwater Best Management Practices such as bioswales, raingardens and greenroofs designed to infiltrate water at the source and prevent runoff to the downtown area that struggles on its own with storms due to its close proximity to sea level.  There is an appropriate balance between natural and human needs that does not compromise the health of flora and fauna nor of soils, air or watersheds. It is necessary to understand the ecology of the area, as well as the conditions of the built environment, to determine optimum performance of the existing area. This performance area recognizes that it is possible to manage water and support functional habitat and ecosystems within urban areas.

Goal

Meet both human and natural needs through reliable and innovative water management and protect and regenerate habitat and ecosystem function.

Objectives

  1. Manage stormwater and building water discharge
  2. Encourage infiltration of stormwater at the source
  3. Reduce water consumption through conservation
  4. Reuse and recycle water resources wherever possible, using potable water only for potable needs
  5. Protect and enhance local watersheds and associated wildlife
  6. Prioritize native and structurally diverse vegetation
  7. Create habitat connectivity within and beyond the district
  8. Avoid human-made hazards to wildlife and promote nature-friendly urban design

Projects

Community Clean Up

A litter cleanup of Newmarket Creek in the Upper Peninsula is scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2016.  The goal is to remove debris that has accumulated in the creek and marsh areas, as well as along the surrounding roadways.  All cleanup supplies will be provided, volunteers are needed!  This event is made possible by Keep Charleston Beautiful with gracious collaboration from Charleston Waterkeeper and Surfrider.  More information can be found on the Facebook Event Page.

Stormwater Management

Incorporating stormwater management and using Low Impact Development on new building construction is encouraged and incentivized in the new Upper Peninsula Zoning District thanks to efforts from this group of stakeholders.

Check out the Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina (September 2014) for localized information on LID.

Green Infrastructure Demonstration Sites

To create more awareness on the importance and effectiveness of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs), our team is working on encouraging more BMPs be implemented in the Upper Peninsula along with educational signage.

Storm Drain Art Contest

Our team of stakeholders is working on a public art project to help spread awareness that pollution entering our storm drains ends up in our waterways and is untreated, negatively affecting our water quality.