The category recognizes specific program innovations in how local stormwater permits are administered that directly lead to improved water quality outcomes in local receiving waters.

The program can be administered by a municipal or non-traditional MS4 agency located with the boundaries of the Chesapeake watershed. Examples of local program functions may include water quality monitoring, stormwater asset management, GIS mapping, protocols for inspecting and maintaining BMPs or any other function undertaken to effectively manage your local stormwater program. The innovative function should have been instituted within the last five years and go beyond the minimum required under your local stormwater permit.

The strongest programs/projects should:

  1. Improve delivery of BMPs to achieve greater local pollutant reductions
  2. Target new pollutant sources/hotspots in the community
  3. Engage new community partners, stakeholders or non-stormwater agencies
  4. Create budget cost-savings or produce other community benefits
  5. Showcase lessons that are helpful and transferable to other Bay communities

Agencies are encouraged to submit data on how the program benefit was quantified or otherwise measured (i.e., reduced pollutants, increased practice delivery, local cost savings, greater public acceptance, etc.).

Separate awards will be made to large Phase 1 communities, and to smaller localities and non-traditional agencies operating under Phase 2 MS4 permits. Note that local education and outreach programs are NOT eligible for this category (but can be submitted as “Best Education and Outreach”).