Steven Saari

Steven Saari

Associate Director, Watershed Protection

1200 1st St NE 5th Fl

Washington, DC 20002

Phone: 202-535-2961

Research Interests

Urban Ecology, Stream Restoration, Innovative Stormwater Management Approaches

Educational Background

  • Bachelor's of Science - College of William and Mary - environmental science with a minor in geology
  • Master's of Science - The Pennsylvania State University - ecology with a focus on urban ecology
  • Certificates of Completion - Sorbonne - introductory and intermediate French

Biographical Sketch

Steve Saari is the Associate Director of Watershed Protection with the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).  Steve manages a talented, motivated team of thirty professionals who work hard to protect and restore the health of the District’s waterways.

In his role as Associate Director, Steve oversees an annual budget of over $25 million dollars including funds from Environmental Protection Agency Grants and high-profile funding sources including Stormwater Utility Fees and “Bag Bill” monies.  Steve has a M.S. in ecology and has been in the watershed restoration field for nineteen years.

Steve has overseen a wide range of projects at DOEE including:

  • Creating the successful suite of “RiverSmart” programs that provides incentives to property owners to install landscaping techniques that infiltrate rain water on their properties;
  • Drafting the District’s Urban Tree Canopy Plan to achieve its 40% tree canopy goal;
  • Working to restore nine streams totaling almost five miles in length in the District including bringing to the surface a half mile long stream that had been piped in the Rock Creek watershed;
  • Writing DOEE’s Watershed Implementation Plan for Rock Creek and co-authoring the District’s plan to restore its portion of the Anacostia River; and
  • Installing the city’s first Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances - a specialized type of low impact development technique that uses stream restoration methods to slow stormwater velocities, infiltrate stormwater, recharge groundwater, and treat pollutants through chemical and biological processes.
  • Developing a District-wide maintenance program for green stormwater infrastructure.

Other Research

  • The effectiveness of Regenerative Stream Channel and Regenerative Stormwater Conveyances
  • Ability to reduce stormwater volumes through targeted stormwater retrofits in urban watersheds in Rock Creek
  • The effectiveness of Continuous Monitoring Adaptive Controls (CMAC) on cisterns at fire stations
  • Native mussel restocking in waterways to improve water quality and habitat
  • Ability to reduce stormwater volumes through targeted stormwater retrofits and stream restoration in the Alger Park watershed
  • The effectiveness of Continuous Monitoring Adaptive Controls (CMAC) on stormwater practices in the Watts Branch watershed
  • The impact of utilizing green roofs for urban agriculture on pollutant loads from rooftops

Related Experts