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Horry County in South Carolina awarded a First Annual EPA Region 4 Rain Catcher Award

Release Date: 08/19/2014
Contact Information: Dawn Harris Young, EPA, (404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

ATLANTA – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Horry County with the regional 2014 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Neighborhood/Community Category for the Crabtree Swamp Restoration Project in Conway, South Carolina. The award was given at an award ceremony during the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4/International Erosion Control Association Municipal Wet Weather Stormwater Conference, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Crabtree restoration effort consisted of two projects focusing on a strategy of controlling sediment transport to address fecal bacteria, dissolved oxygen, and to reduce turbidity. The effects of urbanization had greatly altered the Crabtree canal, leading to increased runoff volumes, peak flow rates, flooding, and water quality impairments. The projects utilized a two-stage design to reconnect the canal with the remnant hardwood floodplain via a gently sloping riparian bench. The new channel configuration provides for flood storage and bank stabilization, and increased biological habitat. Monitoring efforts have demonstrated water quality improvements as result of the project.

The EPA Region 4 Rain Catcher Award recognizes excellence in the implementation of stormwater green infrastructure practices. Green infrastructure uses natural systems and/or engineered systems designed to mimic natural processes to more effectively manage urban stormwater and reduce receiving water impacts. EPA and its partner organizations have promoted the use of green infrastructure for many years as part of a comprehensive approach to achieving healthier waters. Green infrastructure reduces the volume of stormwater discharges by managing rainwater close to where it falls and removes many of the pollutants present in runoff, making it an effective strategy for addressing wet weather pollution and improving water quality.

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