Kruti S. Desai: The City of Charlotte is honored to be recognized by the Water Environment Federation for improving and protecting our waterways. Being recognized as a high-performing program with the overall highest score for large municipalities is an honor and we're especially proud to be recognized as a leader in innovation and project management.
Mike Davis: So great cities require great infrastructure. The City of Charlotte is growing rapidly and so to support that growth, we both got to keep up with our existing infrastructure, but also make sure that the water we're sending back to our streams is as clean as it can be.
Kruti S. Desai: With more than 850,000 residents and about 2000 miles of streams, our stormwater program is critical to protecting the environment and sustaining the quality of life we enjoy in Charlotte.
We have the largest municipal stream and wetland mitigation bank in North Carolina. Starting in 2004, this bank has funded and restored over 17 miles of streams. The Reedy Creek stream restoration project was partially funded through this bank. Using a progressive design-build approach with a single contractor for design and construction, surface water quality and habitat were improved along 40,000 feet of stream. We're also using an innovative approach with stormwater control measures. For over 20 years, we've installed and monitored more than 40 of these pollution control devices to determine which work best locally. Those found to be effective may be installed by developers when required.
We are working to transform urbanized creeks into healthy stream ecosystems. At the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary at Briar Creek, we partnered with Mecklenburg County to restore over 4500 feet of streams with features like curves to slow the flow of water, ripples to add oxygen for fish and rocks and logs to provide habitat. But that's not all. We installed a wet pond and constructed wetlands to remove pollutants and reduce flood risks.
We have one of the most comprehensive local stream monitoring programs in the country. The data is used to find pollution sources, determine stream and aquatic health and monitor trends. The overall goal of collecting and analyzing so much data is to help make science-based decisions and determine where to focus limited resources.
In May of 2020, Charlotte City Council enhanced protections for waterways, passing revisions to the city's stormwater pollution control ordinance to prohibit the use of pavement sealants with high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are harmful to fish and aquatic life. Additional revisions increase the maximum daily fine for illegal pollutant discharges.
Our outreach and engagement efforts reach hundreds of thousands of people each year, you might find residents taking selfies with Stormy the turtle, stopping to read our scoop the poop flags, commenting on our social media posts about reporting pollution or listening to our messages on the six o'clock news. We're proud of our great work we're doing but the fact remains that many of our surface waters are impaired, so there's more work to be done.
Mike Davis: We also know that we can't do this alone, and we haven't done it alone. To be successful we must continue to work with other city departments, our county colleagues and our residents. By leveraging the resources of our local and regional partners we can achieve our goal of restoring our surface waters for our residents and for generations to come.