NEMO To The Rescue

February 18, 1998

Anyone who has been a victim of development run amuck probably wishes that the town fathers could have seen into the future when they made their zoning plans.

Now, thanks to a project called NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials), towns can see what their futures will look like, at least in terms of their waterways' health.

Pollution in a town's waterways -- and the oceans they lead to -- can often be traced back to overdeveloped land, which is full of roofs, roadways, and other surfaces that don't absorb water. Scientists directly relate these impervious surfaces to polluted runoff and water degradation.

NEMO project leaders bring technology to the town hall with a computer model that contrasts the current impervious land cover with projected future levels.

Municipal officials fielding developers' requests often have to make decisions that will affect future water quality without access to good watershed data. But, with NEMO, officials can make more informed decisions.

NEMO's developers hope one day to bring NEMO's techniques to the Web, where officials could feed in their data and design their own crystal ball into their waterways' future.

NEMO is a University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System project funded in part by NOAA's Sea Grant, which is celebrating the International Year of the Ocean this year.

For more information, call: Chester L. Arnold, Jr. NEMO Project Director tel:(860) 345-4511 fax:(860) 345-3357 Visit the NEMO home page at:

UPCOMING EVENTS: --March 16-17 - JASON project --March 23: WORLD METEOROLOGICAL DAY --April 24:EARTH DAY --May-September - EXPO 98: "Oceans, A Heritage for the Future, Lisbon, Portugal --June 8 -OCEANS DAY --July 1-14 - THE GREAT AMERICAN FISH COUNT 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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