The following information has been provided by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (NY DEC)
Green infrastructure practices maintain or restore stormwater's natural
flow pattern by allowing the water to slowly permeate into the ground
and be used by plants. These practices include rain gardens, vegetated
swales, green roofs and porous pavements. Green infrastructure also
includes preserving or restoring natural areas, such as forests, stream
buffers and wetlands, and reducing the size of paved surfaces. Green
infrastructure generally includes "better site design" or "low impact
development" stormwater projects.
In addition to managing stormwater, green infrastructure can recharge
groundwater, provide wildlife habitat, beautify neighborhoods, cool
urbanized areas, improve air quality and reduce stress on combined sewer
Examples of Green Infrastructure projects include:
- Rain Gardens- Rain gardens manage and treat small volumes of stormwater by filtering
runoff through soil and vegetation within a shallow depression.
- Bioretention Areas- Bioretention areas capture and treat stormwater, allowing the water to
filter through soil and vegetation. Bioretention areas are usually
larger than rain gardens and designed with an underdrain to connect to
the storm drain system.
- Vegetated Swales or Dry Swales- Swales are natural drainage paths or vegetated channels used to
transport water instead of underground storm sewers or concrete open
channels. They increase the time of concentration, reduce discharge, and
- Green Roofs- Green roofs are layers of soil and vegetation installed on rooftops that
capture runoff. The vegetation allows evaporation and
evapotranspiration to reduce the volume and discharge rate of
- Porous Pavement- Pervious types of pavements allow stormwater to infiltrate through the surface, reducing stormwater runoff and some pollutants.
- Stream Buffer Restoration - A healthy vegetated buffer helps improve stream health and water quality
by filtering and slowing polluted runoff, along with many other
Last updated July 19, 2016