Successfully Implementing Porous Pavement to Reduce Beach Closures: Coastal Community Case Study (On-Demand)




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The Town of Provincetown, Massachusetts is a small coastal community on Cape Cod. The Town’s main commercial district centers around Commercial Street and Provincetown Harbor. The Harbor supports multiple recreational uses and is a primary economic driver for the Town.

As dense development has resulted in increased impervious area in the Harbors watershed, water quality beach closures have increasingly affected the local economy. The Harbor is listed as a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Category 4A degraded water body, with a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for pathogens. A 2003 stormwater assessment identified 25 stormwater discharges to Provincetown Harbor. For the outfalls immediately impacted by Commercial Street, porous pavement was evaluated and selected as an innovative approach to manage stormwater. This strategy provides the dual benefits of improving Harbor water quality and revitalizing the Provincetown’s downtown through road reconstruction. The Town implemented a multi-phase approach to installing porous pavement on Commercial Street. Phase 1 was completed prior to the 2013 summer season and there were no beach closures from the Phase 1 area during the summer of 2013. This is a major improvement from 9 closures in 2012 and 18 in 2011 in this same area.

This presentation will provide an overview of the project and overview of water quality results since the project was implemented.


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