Let’s Talk Stormwater

February 2023


Image Credit: Department of Energy and Environment

Every year, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) releases a report that doesn’t typically make the headlines: the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Report. It may sound highly technical, but it’s actually a very engaging read! It’s on an interactive website full of helpful images and written in an easy-to-understand way.

Why is it important? The report captures how DOEE is reducing pollution in the areas where stormwater flows directly to waterways. This work is critical for keeping pollutants such as motor oil and trash out of our waterways so they can be healthy and thriving environments for people and wildlife.

The report includes a link to a map of all green infrastructure practices in the District, such as green roofs, permeable pavement, rainwater harvesting, and more. You could be one of the dots on the map! Through the RiverSmart Program, District property owners can receive financial incentives to install items such as rain barrels, rain gardens, and shade trees.

All this information and much more is captured in the MS4 Annual Report. Take a few minutes to explore and we guarantee you’ll learn something new. And next time you see a stretch of asphalt replaced with permeable pavers, you may have a greater appreciation for how it connects to stormwater pollution efforts District-wide!


District of Columbia’s Solar for All Program Wins Prestigious Sunny Award

The District of Columbia’s Solar for All program was honored with one of just five Grand Prize Sunny Awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership for equitable community solar development on January 19 in San Diego, California. The awards are an effort to recognize community solar projects and programs across the nation that increase equitable access to the benefits of solar for all communities. There to accept the award were the DOEE team and its contracting partner in implementing Solar for All, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility.

Sunny Award

Department of Energy and Environment Partner EnergySage Can Help You Go Solar

Starting in August 2021, DOEE began a partnership with EnergySage, an online consumer resource, to demystify the process of getting solar power. With longer days around the corner, now is a great time to go solar, whether you rent or own. EnergySage offers a free, easy to use resource and comparison shopping site for District residents. The recently enacted federal Inflation Reduction Act means you get a 30% tax credit when you install solar (or solar plus storage to protect from outages) at your home. And even if you can’t install solar panels on your roof, you can subscribe to a community solar farm to save money and help the planet. If you’ve got questions about solar, just enter your zip code and sign up for a free account on EnergySage and you’ll get access to a dedicated energy advisor who can answer any questions about going solar and even help you understand and compare solar quotes.

Energy Saver


Notice of Funding Availability - DC FloodSmart Homes Resilience Upgrades

DOEE seeks eligible entities to help reduce the loss of life, damage to property, and harm to natural resources from flooding. The grantee will install upgrades to homes in flood-prone areas of the District and provide some emergency assistance for anticipated flood events (e.g., sand-bag deployment). The amount available for the project is $2,520,969. For more information, please visit https://doee.dc.gov/node/1641601. Applications are due February 27.

DC Flood

University of the District of Columbia’s Specialty Crop Grant is Now Open

The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences at the University of the District of Columbia is soliciting proposals for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Farm Bill. There is a priority focus this year on projects that establish new specialty crop production within social service communities such as shelters, elderly or retirement homes, and halfway residences; those that establish new specialty crop production within areas lacking fresh vegetable access and distribution; and more. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/SCBGP2023. Applications are due March 10.



Department of Energy and Environment – Environmental Protection Specialist

This position serves as an Environmental Protection Specialist in the Natural Resources Administration, Watershed Protection Division, Restoration Branch. The primary role of this position is to perform stormwater assessments and related duties in support of the operation of the RiverSmart Homes program. The position requires working with residential property owners while conducting stormwater assessments, explaining techniques to control non-point source pollution, effectively communicating the benefits of lot-level stormwater practices, assessing properties and suggesting the appropriate best management practice, entering information into a GIS-based tracking system, and coordinating with grantees and contractors to ensure that stormwater practices are installed appropriately. The deadline to apply is February 23. For more information, visit this webpage and search for the role using job ID 20737.

Casey Trees – Communications and Events Assistant

The mission of Casey Trees is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. Casey Trees is looking for a Communications and Events Assistant to fulfill all event logistics, communications, and tracking. Reporting to the Communications and Events Manager, the Communications and Events Assistant is responsible for logistical, communications, and marketing support for Casey Trees’ volunteer and educational events. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and the position is open until filled. For more information, please visit this webpage.

Office of Planning – Food Policy Director

Mayor Bowser seeks qualified candidates to serve as the next District of Columbia Food Policy Director. The Food Policy Director provides strategic direction and leadership for the District on food issues with attention to food insecurity and low food access, including analysis, stakeholder engagement, policy development, coordination, and tracking. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and the position is open until filled. For more information, please visit this webpage.


Take the Clean Energy DC 2.0 Stakeholder Survey

Planning efforts are underway for Clean Energy DC 2.0 (CEDC 2.0), the second installment of the District’s energy and climate action plan. Over the next several months, DOEE will be working in collaboration with many stakeholders to develop the next version of the plan, and we need your help to understand the different priorities and actions you’d like to see for our city’s climate future.

We are seeking feedback from those that work, live, and/or play in DC! Complete the CEDC 2.0 stakeholder survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cedc23

Your feedback and involvement are essential to developing the city's next energy and climate action plan! 

DC Sustainable Energy Utility Advisory Board

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) Advisory Board (Board) is charged to provide advice, comments, and recommendations to DOEE and Council regarding the procurement and administration of DCSEU, advise on DCSEU performance and monitor DCSEU under its contract. Right now, the Board has two vacant positions: Building Construction Industry, and Appointee of the City Council Chair Phil Mendelson. Positions are open until filled.

Interested in more information? Check out the Board’s webpage and send your resume to Jennifer Johnston at Jennifer.Johnston@dc.gov. 


Taking Nature Black

The 5th Taking Nature Black Conference is taking place over two virtual days, one in-person conference day, and one day of outdoor nature experiences, from Wednesday March 8 through Saturday March 11. This year’s theme is “Belonging: Engaged and Empowered.” The conference will offer presentations and discussions focused on the needs and interests of Black nature professionals, environmental justice advocates, educators, and outdoor enthusiasts. Please see the conference page for more information, including registration information.


Rooting DC is Back In-Person

Rooting DC is a free, day-long gardening forum that aims to provide education about urban food production, gardening, and food equity with the purpose of cultivating the health of our community and environment. This year’s event is taking place on Saturday, March 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Anacostia High School. Please see the Rooting DC page for more information and register through Eventbrite.

Rooting DC
SDC Winner
SDC Winner

The District is fortunate to have organizations and individuals doing outstanding work on sustainability. This is our final month highlighting the winners of the 2022 District Sustainability Awards. We’re featuring Perkins Eastman DC, an architecture and design firm at the forefront of green building design. Perkins Eastman DC worked with DC Public Schools to open the District's first two schools pursuing net-zero energy: John Lewis Elementary School (pictured here) and Banneker Academic High School.

Perkins Eastman DC engages and collaborates with families to determine priorities in school design. The firm aims for its projects to have a positive impact on both people and the planet. Congrats to Perkins Eastman DC for being a 2022 District Sustainability Award Winner!

To learn more about all the winners, check out this short film.


Black and Forth: Learn how entrepreneur Angel Gregorio is fostering the growth of small, Black-owned businesses in the Langdon Park neighborhood of Ward 5.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Born and Raised in D.C.: Restaurant-owner Andre McCain explains how he returned to his roots in the District to pay homage to local culinary tradition while creating jobs.

Interview with Dany Sigwalt: As part of a spotlight series on Black environmentalists, native Washingtonian Dany Sigwalt shares how she became involved with climate justice work.