Nanticoke Vision (Green Infrastructure Initiative)
What is Green Infrastructure:
Just like we have an infrastructure that is vital for modern society -highways for transportation, wires for electricity and communication, and pipes for water- we have a natural infrastructure that sustains life. Green Infrastructure is this natural life support system – an interconnected network of land and water that sustains air and water quality, supports wildlife, maintains ecological processes, and contributes to the health (clean water, clean air), economy (forestry, agriculture), and quality of life (recreation and setting) for Delmarva’s communities and people.
How it’s done:
Green Infrastructure is developed based on many different factors. It takes into account community, economic, growth, and ecological needs. It is a process based on input from the community, so that areas designated for growth and areas designated for protection are the most acceptable outcome, for all parties. However, it only works if the community participates.
What it does:
It protects the natural areas that are vital to sustaining our health, and economy. It provides a roadmap to focus effort and resources on natural areas called hubs (large natural areas) and links (natural corridors that join hubs and help protect water and wildlife movement). It provides a roadmap for community growth, so that development occurs in a way that protects the quality of life for old and new residents. It takes the surprise out of development planning. If everyone participates, it reduces conflict and creates ways we can work together to keep our communities healthy and growing.
What the Alliance is doing:
The Alliance is working to bring Green Infrastructure to the Nanticoke watershed. This is an inclusive process, with our focus being on positive solutions for community, human health, ecology, business, industry, and working landscapes (our farming and forestry heritage). In order to bring effective conservation to the entire watershed, the Alliance is working to bridge the barriers of state and county lines to produce a plan that encompasses the well-being of all the watershed’s residents.
In January 2007 we held our first Green Infrastructure conference at Salisbury University. It was attended by over 100 participants. After this conference, the Alliance partnership joined a Green Infrastructure sub-committee in Wicomico County helping to define important lands. In 2008-09, we began work to bring the GI conversation to all three major counties in the watershed (Wicomico, Dorchester and Sussex counties). Outreach continues to be an ongoing effort of the Alliance, particularly with respect to disengaged or non-traditional stakeholder groups with environmental issues in the watershed.
Latest News In GI:
In March 2010, the Alliance held a conference entitled “Land, People, Culture, Community: People of the Nanticoke Uniting for the Future.” The purpose of this event was to bring together people representing a broad diversity of stakeholder interests to collectively create a “vision” for the future of the Nanticoke area.
The 1 ½ day conference included representatives of public service, education, tourism, agriculture, business & industry, civic groups, environmental conservation, cultural/historic preservation, and resource users. Even among highly varied interests and perspectives, it was clear through ongoing conversations that there are many areas of common ground. This common ground has the potential to play a big part in planning for the future of this beautiful region! Over the next several months, the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance will be helping to make this community-created vision a reality.
See link at top of page for more information about the conference. You can also visit the following sites to learn more about Green Infrastructure. To learn more about our efforts, please contact the NWA staff.