Similar to many developing areas, growth in Monroe County has caused some unfortunate consequences to water quality. One consequence is that developed areas shed larger volumes of stormwater from impervious surfaces (roads, buildings and parking lots) than natural landscapes. Because there is more water volume, there is more pollution. Typical pollutants include: petroleum products and heavy metals from vehicles; fertilizers, chemicals and animal waste from lawns; and, sediment from eroded streambanks, construction sites and roadways. A second consequence is that streams more frequently flow full or overflow their banks. High stormwater flows can cause flooding, damage property, and harm fish and wildlife habitat. Common damages from high flows are eroded stream banks, wider and deeper stream channels, and excessive sediment deposition. The degradation results in poor water quality and added maintenance costs to municipalities and property owners. In Monroe County, stormwater pollution and associated wet weather flows have had an impact on virtually all urban streams, the Genesee River and Lake Ontario’s shoreline.
Developing plans to improve our impacted water resources is the objective of the Rapid Green Infrastructure Assessment Plan (Plan). A streamlined method was devised to quickly evaluate multiple watersheds for stormwater retrofit potential. The main product is a ranked inventory of retrofit projects that, if constructed, could improve water quality and stream health while also providing flow attenuation to reduce erosive storm flows and localized drainage problems. A second significant product is the creation of multiple, electronic data files and maps that lay the foundation for future, more in-depth studies. The Plan is a simplified version of more detailed Stormwater Assessment and Action Plans being done in other parts of Monroe County. These larger studies include water quality sampling as well as modeling the effects of the current watershed’s condition and the potential improvement from proposed retrofits. The field work completed for this report was kept to a minimum and only a summary report is produced (herein). The project was conducted with funding from New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, and the Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County.
Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County and Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, "Green Infrastructure Rapid Assessment Plan: Thomas Creek Watershed" (2013). Technical Reports. 153.