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Boats On Parade

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Forget the Dad Vail Regatta—this Sunday, the Tidal Schuylkill Festival wraps up with a non-motorized boat parade, with awards being handed out for "creativity, gall and garishness." Put the finishing touches on your Mummer's-brigade boat or Lady Gaga canoe and head to the Bartram's Garden Meadow at 4 p.m. to launch a craft or cheer the sailors. Go here for more details and free registration for the event.

You're Invited: We Are Our Water

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Join us at the Urban Sustainability Forum tonight from 6:00 to 6:30 at the Academy of Natural Sciences' Main Auditorium for We Are Our Water: How to Protect Our Health, Communities, and Pocketbooks by Using Water Wisely. The Philadelphia Water Department's Chris Crockett will be speaking, along with Sean Byers (Brandywine Realty Trust), Shanta Schachter (New Kensington Community Development Corporation) and Heather Blakeslee (Delaware Valley Green Building Council). More on the discussion topic:

Not managing water wisely can have grave public health consequences, cause havoc in our homes, and affect the bottom line of businesses and consumers alike. It’s one of the most powerful elements on the planet, capable of mass destruction but also necessary for life. Why is it that we take it for granted? Who is protecting our water quality? Who is responsible for us having enough of it? What are we supposed to do when we have too much? What does it cost and why? Join representatives from the Philadelphia Water Department, major builder owners and operators, and community groups to find out how Philadelphia is leading the way on water, and what you can do to help.

Registration for the event is free.

Race Street Pier Opens Today

The Race Street Pier—a one-acre public park that extends into the Delaware River near the Ben Franklin Bridge—debuts today at 2 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Mayor Michael Nutter. A project spearheaded by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, the Race Street Pier provides open space along the waterfront and should attract both Philadelphia residents and visitors to views of the Delaware River. Additional photos and videos at PlanPhilly.

For more information on potential projects and planning initiatives for the Delaware River, check out the recently completed Delaware Direct Watershed Rivers Conservation Plan.

You're Invited: Philly's First Porous Street

Join us for the unveiling of the city's first porous green street1 today on the 800 block of Percy Street. This green infrastructure project is a collaboration between the Philadelphia Water Department and the Streets Department; the porous asphalt allows stormwater runoff to infiltrate the surface and is stored in a stone bed until it can be absorbed by the soil. Preventing runoff from entering our sewers during rainstorms alleviates combined sewer overflows and protects the health and quality of our rivers. It's all part of PWD's Green City, Clean Waters plan to manage stormwater with green infrastructure, an approach that maximizes economic and environmental benefits to all parts of the city.

Skeptical about porous paving? Come out and toss a water balloon; you'll see firsthand how the paving soaks up water.

Date: Tuesday, May 10

Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Location: 800 block of Percy Street (between Christian and Catharine, between 9th and 10th)

Those attending the unveiling include Mayor Michael Nutter, PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Streets Department Commissioner Clarena
Tolson, Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities Rina Cutler, and Councilman Frank DiCicco. Check back here tomorrow for photos of the event and the complete, green and porous Percy Street!

1 You might be wondering: Is this really Philadelphia's first porous street? What about cobblestone? Traditional cobblestone such as the type that is found in Philadelphia is not porous, as the stones are mainly set in impervious mortar.

Cobbs Creek 5K Run/Walk

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Rain didn't dampen the first annual Darby-Cobbs 5K Run/Walk on April 23rd—approximately 150 participants and mayors from three municipalities (including Philadelphia's own mayor, Michael Nutter) showed up for the event. The runners and walkers were able to enjoy the scenic setting of Cobbs Creek Park and experience the unique, trail-like nature of the course. The Philadelphia Water Department was proud to co-sponsor the event, held to raise awareness of the resources of Cobbs Creek Park. All proceeds from the 5K go directly toward revitalization of the park. Learn more about the park here or check out the activities and resources available at the Cobbs Creek Environmental Education Center. Thank you to our friends and co-sponsors:

2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show

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The Philadelphia Water Department is proud to be a part of the 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Show. The theme of our exhibit, co-sponsored by the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, is Springtime In Paris. The goal of our exhibit is to correlate the health and cleanliness of local waterways with the beauty of flowers and plants in an urban environment—whether it's Paris in the 1920s or modern-day Philadelphia. On display are three examples of urban stormwater management: a sidewalk stormwater planter, porous pavers and a downspout planter. More info on the exhibit here.

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