|CLEERTEC’s role is to support and be supported by the Cuyahoga Valley Initiative for sustainable restoration and economic development.
MAKING THE LINK BETWEEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION - Investing in Healthy Streams Sustains Healthy Communities
Return on Investment comes in many forms:
1) Recovery of lost or damaged assets: Landowners and local governments benefit as degraded natural systems are restored to working order and natural assets regain their value. As pollutants are removed and managed, natural areas and waterways once again become recreational and quality-of-life assets that enhance communities’ resource base and property values.
2) Improved risk management: Costs to manage the risk of loss due to flooding, erosion, and hazards are reduced, as are costs associated with repair, recovery and litigation.
3) Business growth & job development: The economic value of the of a clean-up and restoration economy can be measured in local jobs, new ventures, and products and services that can be exported worldwide as other communities deal with their own environmental problems.
· Economic enterprises developed around protecting and preserving watershed assets as community resources can include designing and installing storm water detention basins, wetlands and riparian corridors as part of a green space plan, with local design, engineering, construction and installation, using locally-produced materials and locally-grown native plants.
· Business development resulting from opportunities created by government regulations aimed at protecting resources can include construction site erosion-prevention services, parking lot filter strips, wetlands and riparian zones constructed for mitigation, new pervious paving and stream reconstruction.
· Opportunities for helping local businesses to be good environmental neighbors can include eco-friendly parking lot and rooftop design, green building strategies and materials, habitat corridors and natural buffers.
· Develop businesses and jobs using new approaches and emerging technologies to mitigate on-going environmental stressors: e.g. toxic sediment, invasive species, CSO discharge, aging shoreline bulkheads.
4) Improved efficiency of Community and Capital Investment: Regional approaches to preserving the functionality of natural systems include regional capital projects to manage storm water, filling the need to integrate local resources into a larger system.
5) Increasing and improving natural amenities add to community health and stability: Studies show that community pride and stability is created when the amount and value of natural amenities is increased or improved. Statistics show that increasing green infrastructure improves public physical and mental health and reduces health care costs.
6) Improved efficiency for community use of infrastructure: Current policies and practices undervalue the use and reuse of land in the Industrial Valley. Investment in promoting the river and valley as a shared resource can reduce inter-community competitive practices that create misdirected government investments and reward sprawl and dispersion.