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EPA, UB host green infrastructure forum

rain garden

Stormwater management methods were among the many issues discussed at the green infrastructure forum.

Published March 18, 2013

Engineers, architects, government administrators, scientists and others met to discuss how WNY can prepare for, fund and create green infrastructure projects.

Engineers, architects, government administrators, scientists and others met in Buffalo March 14, to discuss how Western New York can prepare for, fund and create green infrastructure projects.

The event, called the Western New York Green Infrastructure Forum, focused on land-use, transportation, energy, housing and other issues. It also included discussions on how communities can improve water quality, specifically as it relates to pollution caused by stormwater runoff.

Sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and UB, the forum included a range of speakers with experience in developing green infrastructure. Among them:

  • Matt Millea, Onondaga County deputy executive for physical services. Millea delivered the keynote address focusing on the county’s “Save the Rain” program, which is a comprehensive stormwater management plan designed to reduce pollution in Onondaga Lake.
  • Robert Shibley, dean of UB’s School of Architecture and Planning. Shibley discussed an initiative called “One Region Forward,” a regional effort that focuses on sustainable planning in Western New York.
  • Jill Spisiak Jedlicka, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. Spisiak Jedlicka discussed how healthy waterways support tourism and recreation-based economies.
  • Alan Rabideau, UB professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering. Rabideau discussed Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange, a UB-led initiative that helps restore damaged ecosystems, including the former nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in West Valley, N.Y.

From helping investigate toxic chemicals in the Love Canal neighborhood of Niagara Falls in the 1970s to committing to be climate neutral by 2030, UB has a long history in environmental leadership. The forum is another example of its commitment to educate, inspire and enable people both on and off campus to create a more sustainable world.