Aug 25, 2010

WEF’s Students & Young Professionals to Host Community Service Project at WEFTEC.10

Committee and volunteers will construct bioswale in city’s Lower Ninth Ward

To promote environmental stewardship and leave a positive imprint on this year’s host city, the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) Students and Young Professionals Committee (SYPC) has organized a community service project during WEFTEC.10 in New Orleans. Scheduled for Oct. 2, 2010, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., “Bioswales in the Bayou” will include the construction of a bioswale in the Lower Ninth Ward of the city, one of the most heavily damaged areas from Hurricane Katrina.

Building on the success of its first community project at WEFTEC.08 in
Chicago, the SYPC and other WEF volunteers will construct a bioswale to help
limit overland flooding by retaining storm water runoff while removing silt
and pollution. The project’s location at the corner of Andry Street and North
Peters Street in the Holy Cross neighborhood was selected because of its
particular vulnerability to severe wet-weather occurrences.

In 2005 when the city’s levees broke under pressure from Hurricane
Katrina-generated storm surges, the entire neighborhood experienced
catastrophic flooding and widespread devastation. Nearly five years later,
much of the Lower Ninth Ward remains unchanged but, through community
programs like this, is gradually recovering.

This year’s project not only supports grassroots solutions and environmental
stewardship on a local level, but also promotes WEF’s overall mission to
preserve and enhance the global water environment. Local and WEF leadership
will attend the opening ceremony and groundbreaking to share their vision
for environmental protection and community involvement and service.

New this year, the SYPC will simultaneously host a special water carnival
for local residents at the project location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Community organizations, state agencies, university groups and WEF entities
will provide hands-on activities and information to the community regarding
sustainable neighborhoods, water quality, wastewater treatment and other
environmental issues that impact the community and the country. Local
schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other after-school programs have been
invited to attend this new event. Each student will be given a “passport” to
travel around to each booth and learn about the water and environment in
their community.

Project sponsors include Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services,
Black & Veatch, Brown and Caldwell, CDM, Duperon Corp., Fluid Control Specialties Inc., HDR Engineering, Stantec, Veolia Water, Westfall
Mfg., WESTON Solutions, the Chesapeake Water Environment Assn. and the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Assn.