Runoff Rundown March 2016 2017-10-03T14:45:35+00:00

Runoff Rundown

March 2016

Don’t forget to register for our April 12 conference!

The clock is ticking down to our full day, national conference on April 12, but even if you’re only just hearing about it now, there’s still time to register! We’re excited about this conference because it’s a unique event that unites in-person discussion with online participation that concurrently addresses local and national watershed issues and tools. We’ll be talking about major issues, such as pollution prevention, IDDE, post-construction stormwater management, and special MS4s. We’ll have experts around the country highlighting effective tools and innovations, as well as sharing case studies and discussing special regional considerations.

So where is this conference, you’re asking? It’s wherever you are! There are two ways to attend the conference: online or in person. The entire conference will be broadcast as a webcast, but we also have six major hubs across the country. Each of these hubs – California, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, and Nebraska – feature unique sessions and panels throughout the day.

It gets better, though – the Center for Watershed Protection will offer .8 continuing education units (CEUs) for this conference if you attend at a hub location (8 contact hours, each earning 0.10 of a CEU). Attendance at all conference technical sessions is required to obtain the CEUs. A sign in/sign out sheet will be provided at each hub location to track attendance. The Center will provide a certificate to any attendee that requests one detailing the number of Professional Development Hours (PDHs) earned at the conference.

And if you decide to attend online, you can still receive credit! The software can only track the actual person who signs on, so a sign in/sign out sheet will be required if more than one person is attending to get a certificate. That sign in/sign out sheet will need to be provided to the Center at in order to meet document retention policies. The Center will provide a certificate to any attendee that requests one detailing the number of Professional Development Hours (PDHs) earned at the conference.

Want to learn more? You can view the hub agendas, learn about our speakers, and register at:

Georgia Stormwater Management Manual – New and Improved!

by Greg Hoffmann

In early February 2016, the latest edition of the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual (GSMM) was released! The Georgia Stormwater Management Manual is intended to be a guide for designers, developers,and communities to manage stormwater runoff from development projects. Volume 1 of the manual is directed toward local governments, providing guidance on the principles of good post construction stormwater management. A wide range of topics are covered, including:

  • The negative impacts of stormwater runoff
  • Better site design philosophies
  • Recommended stormwater management standards
  • Site plan review procedures
  • Alternative compliance options
  • Funding opportunities

Volume 2 of the manual is directed toward design professionals, with stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) specifications and associated calculation methods.

While the 2001 edition of the manual had a lot of good information, it was due for an update. Better site design guidance has been improved,with more detailed, concrete actions included. Planting and Soil Guidance has been updated, as well. Several new BMPs were added to the manual, along with updated crediting calculations for all BMPs. Digital design details now accompany those BMPs. The manual also now includes a very detailed operations and maintenance document. Perhaps most importantly, the existing Total Suspended Solids (TSS) removal standard has been revised to include a runoff reduction standard requiring that the first 1” of rainfall be retained on site. This new standard brings the GSMM closer in to line with the 2009 Coastal Supplement to the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual that the Center for Watershed Protection authored.

The 2016 edition of the GSMM is the result of over a year of work by AECOM, the Center for Watershed Protection, Center Forward, Mandel Design, the Atlanta Regional Commission, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, and many community stakeholders. It is available for download at To learn more about the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual or the Center for Watershed Protection’s work in Georgia, contact Greg Hoffmann at 410-461-8323 (email: or Bill Hodgins at 843-263-8152 (email:

Swimmable Cities Report

The Center for Watershed Protection, funded by the Abell Foundation, recently produced the Swimmable Cities: Lessons for Baltimore from Five Cities that Have Cleaned Up Their Rivers, Lakes and Estuaries report for the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor initiative.

You can learn more about the report and download it at:

Meet our staff!

Karen Cappiella

by Katrina Harrison 

For this edition of the Runoff Rundown, we talked with Karen Cappiella, the Center for Watershed Protection’s (the Center) Director of Research. Karen began her career in the science field by majoring in Geography at Millersville University of PA, where a focus on GIS allowed her to combine her dual interests of science and art. It wasn’t until her Master’s program at East Carolina University, that she got her first taste of field work (literally!) with her thesis work on nutrient and sediment exports from an agricultural watershed. After completing her thesis project, she realized that she wanted to apply her GIS skills to work in the watershed field.

Her first job after school was with the USGS in Santa Cruz, California. She spent many hours digitizing historical bathymetric maps of the San Francisco Bay to identify likely locations of sediment deposits containing mercury from gold mining. In 2000, Karen started at the Center as a Watershed Technician, where she was able to use her GIS skills while assisting on various projects and field work in the watershed and stormwater field. She eventually found her niche as a researcher and writer and took on some management roles. These different experiences led her to her current title as the Director of Research. Currently, she mainly focuses on research projects, along with proposal coordination.

Karen still has a love of maps and enjoys projects that use GIS to determine how landscape changes affect watershed health. She likes having the opportunity to see a project from beginning to end, from the research component through synthesis, writing, editing, and compiling the final product.

For the past 16 years, Karen has worked at the Center because she loves the opportunity that staff have in creating their own path as well as the capability to work on a variety of projects. She also enjoys the laid back and friendly work environment.

When asked what she was looking forward to the most in the 2016 year, Karen responded with the March Madness Crowd Funding campaign, where we are trying out something different in order to find more funding opportunities for research projects. Karen is looking forward to seeing how these funding options work for us and the exciting new research opportunities this can create for the Center!