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Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz will provide opening remarks at an event to educate municipal officials, contractors and the general public about properly managing stormwater runoff to protect the water quality of the Great Lakes.

The 2014 Western New York Stormwater Conference and Tradeshow, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 19, 2014 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. will also feature state-of-the-art strategies to better manage stormwater runoff, protect water quality and meet state regulatory requirements.

Poloncarz said the region’s water resources are vital to the local economy and must be preserved.

“Proper stormwater management is a key component in preventing harmful pollutants from entering our waterways and can also help to retain valuable water for other purposes,” he said.

The conference also will feature Matthew Millea, deputy county executive for Onondaga County, who will share the experiences of Onondaga County’s “Save the Rain” program, the keystone of green infrastructure for the Syracuse metropolitan area.

The WNY Stormwater Coalition is a collaboration of 39 local municipalities in Erie and Niagara counties that manage storm sewer systems regulated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.