This month’s LEADER IN STORMWATER has led the development of the “Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: A Planning Design and Guide” bringing expertise from the Chesapeake Bay to South Carolina; she has experience leading an Environmental Protection Agency expert panel; and also heads the Pooled Monitoring Initiative restoration research support – SADIE RAIN DRESCHER, Vice President of Programs for Restoration at Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Sadie discovered her passion for stormwater while part of a research team assessing golf course stormwater ponds with the College of Charleston. She began her stormwater resume with the State of South Carolina’s coastal management program sampling ponds and translating findings into policy. This brought her to Maryland, working with the Center for Watershed Protection where she learned from some of the “Stormwater Greats” on how to approach stormwater and assess sites for retrofits. She has been inspired by the talented people that come together to provide stormwater solutions as a Chesapeake Bay community. Sadie calls out Dave Hirschman who always took the time to explain things to her or to support her work as colleagues together at the Center for Watershed Protection. She also salutes Tom Schueler with the Chesapeake Stormwater Network who has shared his perspective and been a beacon for the stormwater work she has been involved in.

Sadie has been the Vice President of Programs for Restoration at Chesapeake Bay Trust for 8 years and says a typical day could include a site visit, completing reports, fielding team questions, and research work for the Pooled Monitoring Initiative she’s involved in. Sadie explains that stormwater is everywhere and she is fascinated at how we’ve managed it, or not, in the past vs. today. There are always new ways of solving a problem and learning from what has been tried earlier. Sadie enjoys listening to solutions that are working as well as trying new, pilot ideas. She realizes stormwater issues are ongoing and recognizes that how we build, manage, and retrofit is important.

Sadie has learned from The Maryland Stream Restoration AssociationChesapeake Water Environment Association, and Maryland Water Monitoring Council. She prefers taking a degraded system and incorporating green, retrofit solutions, and likes to work in the build environment to see what is possible. Her goal is to involve those that live and work around our top stormwater issues into her work. She asks, “How do we target future projects or shape our ideas including the people that work or live there? How can we communicate top issues and solutions to people with different viewpoints, training, and experiences?”

Outside of stormwater, Sadie enjoys walking her dogs around Columbia Beach where she often finds an opportunity to snap a picture of the bay. She also serves on the board for Sisters Circle – a mentoring program for young girls based in Baltimore where she started mentoring 10 years ago.