Green Infrastructure/University of Arkansas System: Division of Agriculture Receives Grant for Development in Southeast Arkansas

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.

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The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture (Research and Extension) (“U of A”) issued a news release stating it has received a grant to expand “green infrastructure” into Southeast Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Division and United States Environmental Protection Agency are providing a grant of $100,926.

Green infrastructure is an approach to water management whose objective includes the protection, restoration or copying natural water cycle. Section 502 of the Clean Water Act defines green infrastructure as:

. . . the range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters.

The U of A notes that green infrastructure can also provide pollinator habitat and help recharge groundwater. The benefits include assisting communities by:

  • alleviating flooding;
  • cleaning water; and
  • providing additional ecosystem services.

Mr. John Pennington, Water Quality Educator for the U of A Division of Agriculture is quoted as stating:

. . . the grant funding represents a profound opportunity to bolster natural ecosystems in Southeast Arkansas. Southeast Arkansas has an amazing amount of naturally occurring green infrastructure, but there is both a need and opportunity to maintain it. . . while simultaneously increasing incorporation of green infrastructure into the ‘build environment’ since it can provide so many benefits to the people and community in the regions.

U of A states that the grant will support installation of 10 green infrastructural practices in portions of the Bayou Bartholomew Watershed. It is described as the longest bayou in the world and the second most ecologically diverse waterway in North America. Nevertheless, Mr. Pennington states that the Bayou faces water quality issues associated with sediment, nutrients, and heavy metals.

A copy of the news release can be downloaded here.

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