Conservation Matters May 2012

The Texas Land, Water and Wildlife Connection

College students invited to submit design plans to EPA's Campus RainWorks Challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new design competition called the Campus RainWorks Challenge to encourage student teams on college and university campuses across the country to develop innovative approaches to stormwater management.

Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas in the United States, and this competition will help raise awareness of that while training the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and engineers, said challenge organizers.

According to EPA, student teams, working with a faculty advisor, will submit design plans for a proposed green infrastructure project for their campus. Challenge registration opens Sept. 4, and entries must be submitted by Dec. 14 for consideration. Winning entries will be selected by EPA and announced in April 2013. Winning teams will earn a cash prize of $1,500–$2,500, as well as $8,000–$11,000 in funds for their faculty advisor to conduct research on green infrastructure. In 2013, EPA plans to expand Campus RainWorks by inviting students to design and complete a demonstration project assessing innovative green infrastructure approaches on their campus.

"Reducing stormwater pollution requires innovative approaches and America's college students are incredibly creative and talented," said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Water. "The Campus RainWorks Challenge will engage students across the country in tackling one of the toughest challenges to clean water and show them the opportunities in environmental careers."

EPA is encouraging the use of green infrastructure as a solution to help manage stormwater runoff. Green infrastructure uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source and provide other community benefits, including economic development.

Read the full EPA news release for more information.

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