MassDEP Tree Canopy BMP Research & Development

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Project Description

CEI worked with MassDEP to explore the benefits of the mature tree canopy and current stormwater policy, develop model regulatory language for municipal consideration and prepare educational material for residential tree planting for stormwater benefit. Mature trees, both as individual landscape features and as undisturbed areas of woodland cover, provide significant benefits in the interception of rainfall and the consequent reduction of stormwater runoff. This project explores the potential stormwater reduction benefits of trees as a foundation for a program to preserve, replace, and enhance mature tree canopy as an integrated component of stormwater management permitting, design, and implementation in Massachusetts.

This project characterized the potential role of canopy trees in achieving significant reductions in stormwater runoff, offers model regulatory language for use at the municipal level for fostering the employment of tree canopy as a Best Management Practice, and developed educational material for residential tree planting called ‘What’s a Tree Worth to You – Residential Tree Planting for Water Quality’. The project contributed to the suite of tools and resources available for remediation of stormwater impacts in urban and suburban areas; developed a technical foundation upon which to base guidance materials and regulatory approaches for preserving and establishing tree canopy as an integral component of watershed management practice; and, developed an online technology transfer clearinghouse to help in implementing the model regulation and guidelines.