Resilient Coastal Communities – Chester City
Pennsylvania Sea Grant has worked with the City of Chester since 2009 to help the community become more resilient to flooding and extreme weather hazards.
Chester is the oldest city in Pennsylvania, is situated on the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware, and has a population of more than 34,000 people. Recent redevelopment has begun to re-energize the financially distressed city, and bring vitality back to the waterfront and surrounding communities.
Future climate impacts are expected to increase storms and extreme weather events like floods and heat waves with the potential to impact everyday life in Chester City. In order to help city officials and communities plan for these changes, Pennsylvania Sea Grant partnered with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission to produce the Chester City Green Stormwater Infrastructure Plan.
The plan provides a framework for expanding the use of GSI to enhance stormwater management, reduce volume and flooding, protect water quality, and continue building a vibrant and resilient City of Chester. It is designed to assist city officials, decision-makers, community groups and residents of Chester City in better dealing with excess rainwater through the use of GSI techniques. The plan also highlights available green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) technologies, opportunities, and approaches to improve water quality, reduce combined sewer overflows, meet federal clean water requirements, decrease localized flooding, beautify the community, and enhance community and economic opportunities.
The plan also provides a blueprint for implementing GSI in Chester City, recommendations on how to start pilot projects, guidance on partnering and public outreach, and suggestions for how to track program impact.
The plan outlines steps for the City of Chester to strengthen its capacity to manage stormwater and prepare for the future. It also helps implement a goal of the Chester Climate Adaptation Planning Elements of the Vision 2020 comprehensive plan — to develop a City GSI plan. The vision of the authors and partners was to offer a framework for initial actions to expand the use of GSI to enhance stormwater management, reduce volume and flooding, protect water quality, and continue building a vibrant and resilient City of Chester.
Partners in this effort include the City of Chester, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Delaware County Planning Department, and Pennsylvania Sea Grant. Major funding provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Federation and partial funding provided by NOAA National Sea Grant College Program.