HOPEWELL: Chinese water ministry officials visit watershed HQ

A delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Water visited the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association in November. Twenty officials and a translator toured the Watershed Center for Environmental Advocacy, Science and Education and learned about its innovative technologies.
The tour included a close look at stormwater runoff, which can be an overlooked source of pollution and a contributor to flooding, said watershed officials, but, if properly managed, stormwater can provide an opportunity for water recycling and groundwater recharging.
Guests asked how the watershed association collects and reuses stormwater at the center with particular interest in the green roof design. The rain gardens surrounding the building were still wet from an evening’s rain and the delegates had the opportunity to see how the property distributes runoff.
After a presentation from Watershed Executive Director Jim Waltman, the group talked about impervious surfaces, soil composition and natural water filtration. Watershed association representatives presented and exchanged gifts with the delegates.
“There was some trouble translating what it means to have a ‘green lawn’ here in America. Our yards here are often treated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers — a major source of runoff pollution,” said Mr. Waltman. “It is important to know that the world pollutes in a variety of ways. I hope they never have to worry about pollution from artificially green lawns in China.”
The watershed association offers tours and education programs geared around the features of the watershed center. To learn more, visit the center Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or online at www.thewatershed.org. 