SWIM In Action

See below for a snapshot of our accomplishments since SWIM Coalition launched in 2007.


We are actively mobilizing community members around CSO Long Term Control Plans - such as those for Flushing Bay and Coney Island Creek - creating robust public participation opportunities, while also bringing attention to the City’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit and Stormwater Management Plan development. Local Clean Water Steward workshops continue.


SWIM administered the production of 3 additional Open Sewer Atlas maps, produced a Clean Water Steward Workbook, as well as a series of factsheets to help waterway stewards better understand the City’s water quality improvement plans. SWIM collaborated with local stewardship groups throughout 2016 to host a series of Clean Water Steward workshops to help stakeholders navigate the complexities of the City’s plans for their local waterbodies over the next few decades. 

2014 - 2015

Through a grant from the Taconic Foundation to the Pratt Institute Center for Community Development, the SWIM-supported Open Sewer Atlas Project generated and disseminated user-friendly maps that document combined sewer outfall (CSO) catchment areas around the City. The sewershed maps provide our member organizations and local citizens with the means to recognize and locate CSO sites in their neighborhoods. 


When the Green Roof Property Tax Abatement program legislation was due for renewal in 2013, SWIM convened a Green Roof Tax Abatement Working Group to provide recommendations for improving the program. Some of the working group’s recommendations were incorporated into the renewed legislation.


Due largely to the advocacy of SWIM members and partners, the City and the State agreed to include green infrastructure in the 2012 CSO Consent Order. Prior to this agreement, the order was based solely on grey infrastructure improvements. 


SWIM and Newtown Creek Alliance launched the Weather in the Watershed program to install weather stations and a combined sewer overflow (CSO) alert system in Newtown Creek for a pilot CSO public notification project. We installed weather stations that collected rainfall data and evaluated real-time CSO discharges using devices installed at outfall sites in the East River. We also communicated with the Newtown Creek WWTP engineer on when regulators were tripped and text alerts might be sent. This project was the inspiration and basis for DEP’s current WAIT! Program.


We launched "Minds in The Gutter." a public program that called for design solutions to the question: How can New York City utilize its existing 6,000 miles of roadway and 12,000 miles of sidewalk as an opportunity for stormwater management? We showcased the proposed solutions in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and hosted a panel discussion on green infrastructure. Additionally, SWIM supported New York City’s commitment to meeting US Clean Water Act requirements through the implementation of green infrastructure. New York City's new Green Infrastructure Plan included $187 million in capital funds dedicated to reducing combined sewer overflows by installing and maintaining green infrastructure.​


SWIM Coalition is awarded with the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities' Civic Award of Excellence for an Organization. The award was in recognition of SWIM's efforts to "mobilize industry professionals, passionate citizens and sustainable-minded organizations to bind together and propose an incentive for green roofs... a superb example of the power of collaboration and persistence to affect change."


SWIM Coalition advocated for the passage of Local Law 5, which required the City to develop the Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan, the precursor to the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan (2010). SWIM also supported the passage of the 2008 New York City Green Roof Property Tax Abatement law, worth up to $100,000 per project.


SWIM Coalition founded in New York City, to be a community-wide voice for fishable, swimmable waters.

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SWIM Coalition is sponsored by the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District and Riverkeeper, Inc. Your donations to SWIM's work are tax deductible under the IRS code170(c)3. 

Donations to SWIM are managed by Riverkeeper, Inc.