Stormwater Coalition

Logo for the Storm Water Coalition of Monroe County.

Established in 2000, the Monroe County Stormwater Coalition is composed of 29 municipal members.

By working together, Coalition to comply with the federal stormwater regulations and improve water quality in a cost-effective manner.

The Coalition meets on a monthly basis and leadership is provided by a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Executive Committee. The Coalition staff is located at the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services office. The work of the Coalition is advanced by several task groups including Education, Construction, and Illicit Discharges/Pollution Prevention.

The Coalition implements a wide range of projects and programs including public education, training for municipal employees and the land development community, demonstrations of practices that reduce polluted runoff from developed land, technical assistance with permits and erosion control, investigations of stormwater outfalls for indicators of illegal discharges, assessments of municipal facilities for opportunities to prevent pollution, and a Stormwater Master Plan for Monroe County to identify needed infrastructure.

The Coalition has developed partnerships with several organizations in order to utilize existing expertise and maximize its efforts. Partners include the Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Water Education Collaborative (WEC), Rochester Museum & Science Center, and Seneca Park Zoo.

Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater pollution is the sediment, bacteria, fertilizers, pesticides, automotive fluids, and other materials that are washed from surfaces such as parking lots, roads, roofs, and construction sites during a rain storm or snow melt. The gutters, storm drains, pipes, ditches, and outfalls that comprise the stormwater system transport these pollutants to the nearest waterway. In many cases, stormwater runoff is not treated at a wastewater treatment plant.

Monroe County’s Stormwater

Monroe County is a regulated municipality under the Phase II Stormwater Regulations. The county is a member of the Coalition, hosts the Coalition staff, and acts as the fiscal agent for the group in applying for grants and managing funds.

In addition, the county’s Department of Environmental Services owns, operates, and maintains the storm sewer collection system in the City of Rochester. The storm sewer system in the majority of the city is unique within Monroe County, as it is combined with the sanitary sewer system and shares the same network of pipes with treatment provided at the Frank E. Van Lare Water Resource Recovery Facility. However, there are some sections of the City that are served by separate storm sewers (like those found in the towns and villages in Monroe County)


The Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County has developed stormwater-related curriculums for elementary through high school grade levels to assist teachers in providing instruction on current water quality issues of concern within Monroe County and the Rochester Embayment.

Educational Programs

The Stormwater Coalition of Monroe County, through educators from the Rochester Museum & Science Center, provides water quality demonstrations as part of its Watershed Public Outreach Program. In these presentations, your students/group will have fun learning about how to help protect our watershed. The participants rotate through three stations:

Enviroscape: In this interactive demonstration, a tabletop model of a watershed is used to show how water runoff from land surfaces affects our watershed by making its way via storm drains and the storm sewer system into nearby tributaries, streams, ponds, and ground water, and impact local major bodies of water, including Lake Ontario.

Macroinvertabrates: Participants discover the quality of two "streams" by determining which macroinvertabrates are thriving or not thriving in local waterbodies.

Schools and groups are also encouraged to become involved in local watershed issues through field activities such as watershed cleanups, storm drain marking, or planting trees and shrubs. These programs can be conducted on campus or in local neighborhoods. For more information on starting a watershed-focused activity at your school or your group, click here.

Educational Resources & Documents: