Urban challenges and opportunities within UF/IFAS Extension Water Programs

Donald Rainey, Regional Specialized Agent, UF/IFAS Extension

Join us for the livestream February 7th, 11:45am ET: https://youtube.com/live/hgzjUp1cTjE?feature=share

(Please visit our YouTube channel main page for the stream if there are any issues with the direct link.)


Florida is witnessing rapid population growth and urban expansion, increasing stormwater runoff and the transport of pollutants into waterways.  While no single solution exists, UF/IFAS Extension is positioned to lead multifaceted education programs leveraging local partnerships and engaging stakeholders.  Reducing nutrient loading to nearby canals, ponds, and coastal waters is critical to limiting eutrophic conditions and economic costs associated with water quality degradation.  Low impact design (LID), Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GI), Best Management Practices (BMPs), and public awareness are necessary to address adverse impacts associated with increasing urban stormwater runoff and the pollutant loads it may carry.  New protections prescribed under Florida’s 2020 Clean Waterways Act rely upon urban Extension Agents to deliver the latest recommendations and conservation strategies to urban and agricultural stakeholders.  As communities grapple with climate change impacts, expanding green stormwater infrastructure provides opportunities to enhance resilience.  This presentation will briefly discuss practical and economical approaches UF/IFAS Extension is taking to address water quality and conservation, urban stormwater runoff, climate, and variable weather challenges.


Don is a UF/IFAS Extension Regional Specialized Agent responsible for the Southwest Extension District water resource program.  He provides educational programs covering urban water quality, quantity, supply, and best management practices.  Don was the statewide coordinator for the Green Industries Best Management Practices training program for landscape management professionals.  He frequently speaks at trade and professional association conferences and UF/IFAS Extension training seminars.  He has received national and state-level recognition for his exceptional programming and leadership abilities.