Low-Impact Development

In a global effort to reduce impacts to water quality, the U.S. Navy implemented a low-impact development policy to maintain or restore predevelopment hydrology. Low-impact development mitigates the adverse effects of construction projects on water quality by cost effectively reducing the volume and pollutant loading of stormwater before it reaches the receiving water bodies. It makes use of innovative methods to capture stormwater using a combination of retention devices and vegetation. Stormwater is retained and managed at the source, rather than releasing stormwater nutrients and sediment downstream.

The overall goal of the low-impact development policy is no net increase in stormwater volume and sediment or nutrient loading from major renovation and construction projects. To support this goal, as well as reduce reliance on conventional stormwater collection system and treatment options, the policy directs Navy installations to consider low-impact development in the design for all projects that have a stormwater management component.