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Preparing for the Storm – Experts to Gather in Baltimore

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May 30, 2012

BALTIMORE - Overflowing storm drains, urban wetlands and city streams and creeks are the topics on deck for this year's Watershed and Stormwater Conference in Baltimore.

Up to 500 people from around the nation are expected to attend the October event to take a look at scientific advances in ensuring fresh, clean water and livable communities.

Lisa Fraley-McNeal, a Center for Watershed Protection research specialist who is organizing the event, says managing watersheds involves municipal officials and agencies, nonprofits, universities and scientists.

"And now you have regulations that are actually driving the science. For the past five or 10 years, we've had a lot of green-job development, and a real push in that field."

The event will be held at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, a location Fraley-McNeal says has been the focus of much of the center's work over the years. She says those projects - such as greening waterways and removing trash - are great examples of what can happen in communities across the nation.

"Most of the work we see is happening at the local level - people really getting involved in their local communities, and tying citizens and the neighborhoods together."

The conference coincides with the center's 20th anniversary. Registration is open now at, but early-bird signups end Thursday.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD