How She Tackled It Mahoney created Save the Rain, a rainwater management plan. "Instead of building another sewage plant," she says, "I had a chance to do things differently." Under the plan, streets are paved with porous materials, the county subsidizes green roofs, and residents collect runoff in city-issued barrels. Even the local hockey rink ice is made from recycled rainwater.
The Happy Result: The EPA recently named the region a national leader in green infrastructure design. And by 2018, Mahoney says, "I imagine we'll have open public beaches on Onondaga Lake." —Abbe Wright