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What is Green Infrastructure?

Heavy rainstorms can cause flooding that damages property and infrastructure. Our historic systems of gutters, pipes, and culverts—to move stormwater away from where we live to treatment plants or straight to local water bodies has contributed to additional damage. Our existing capacity to manage large volumes of stormwater is decreasing in areas across the country. To meet this challenge, many communities are installing green infrastructure systems to bolster their capacity to manage stormwater. By doing so, communities are becoming more resilient and achieving environmental, social and economic benefits.

In 2019, Congress enacted the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act, which defines green infrastructure as "the range of measures that use plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse, or landscaping to store, infiltrate, or evapotranspirate stormwater and reduce flows to sewer systems or to surface waters."


Green infrastructure elements can be woven into a community at several scales. When green infrastructure systems are installed throughout a community, city or across a regional watershed, they can provide cleaner air and water as well as significant value for the community with flood protection, diverse habitat, and beautiful green spaces.

Receive the Benefits of Having National Green Infrastructure Certified Practitioners on Your Team

Green infrastructure can do the following for your client and your community:

  • Creates a more pleasant environment by creating “green” features (collections of trees, bushes, and plants) distributed throughout developed areas).

  • Reduces the overall stormwater volume that is conveyed to local streams and rivers which reduces the overall risk of flooding and erosion.

  • Provides treatment by filtering or removing stormwater pollutants such as heavy metals, nutrients, sediment, and pathogens from runoff, which helps protect local streams, and rivers.

  • Temporarily stores stormwater locally to be used by trees and vegetation, reducing the amount of potable water that is needed for watering and irrigation.

  • Creates pervious surfaces that absorb rain and runoff, allowing water to penetrate into the soil and replenish groundwater aquifers.

  • Increases community green space which encourages more outdoor recreation.

  • Creates new long term green jobs to perform construction, inspection and maintenance of the GI.


The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) provides the base-level skill set needed for entry-level workers to properly construct, inspect and maintain Green Infrastructure (GI). Designed to meet international best practice standards, NGICP is a tool that can be used to meet a wide range of needs, including professional development for existing GI professionals and as part of a larger workforce development to provide candidates with the technical skills necessary to enter the green workforce and earn a livable wage.


Because the NGICP is designed to meet international best practice standards, the implementation of the program is done with impartiality and objectivity, ensuring that all applicants and certified individuals are treated fairly. The implementation of NGICP is governed by ByLaws and a Policy and Procedures Manual. NGICP is a new program that is growing and constantly evolving, therefore suggestions regarding how program implementation can be improved are always welcome.

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