In November 2019, the Water Resources Program was invited to Taipei, Taiwan by the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an intellectual exchange around green stormwater infrastructure. Dr. Kenneth Lin helped coordinate this effort and has been helping the Water Resources Program as our Director of International Business Development as well as our direct connection to Rutgers Global. Dr. Kenneth Lin, Mr. Chih Wei (Zack) Chen, a Program Associate-Engineer for the Water Resources Program, and Dr. Christopher Obropta went to Taiwan in 2019 and gave several presentations on our green infrastructure efforts in New Jersey. Our work was well received. While in Taiwan, EPA showed us the city of Taipei and its surrounding suburbs. Visits were made to a few of the green infrastructure practices that have already been installed in Taiwan. The Taiwan trip concluded with the two-day 2019 Water Environmental Symposium hosted by the National Taipei University of Technology where Mr. Chen and Dr. Obropta presented their work in New Jersey.
The visit to Taiwan was fruitful and resulted in the Taiwan EPA providing the Water Resources Program with a contract to partner on exploring the ability of green infrastructure to manage larger storm events such as the hurricanes we get in New Jersey and the typhoons that occur in Taiwan. This work culminated in a two-day virtual seminar on February 23-24, 2022. On the first day, Dr. Michael Dietz from the University of Connecticut provided an overview of green infrastructure in the United States, and Dr. James Houle from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) shared information on his Stormwater Certification Program at the UNH Stormwater Center. On day two, Dr. Thomas Ballestero from the UNH presented his work on green infrastructure in response to climate change, and Mr. Chen and Dr. Obropta gave a presentation on coupling green infrastructure with gray infrastructure for large storms.
The two-day seminar was well attended by professionals in Taiwan and the United States. Dr. Eric Garfunkel of Rutgers Global provided some closing remarks, and Dr. Lin-Yi Tsai, the Director of the Climate Change Office at Taiwan EPA, finished the evening with her reflection on managing climate change with green infrastructure. We hope to continue to work together with the Taiwan EPA in years to come. We have a lot to learn from them and hope they can benefit from our research as well as our implementation experiences.
Links are provided below for the agenda, daily recordings, and individual presentations.