Public Involvement & Participation
Clean Water is a Community Effort
A single regulatory agency or municipal office working alone cannot be as effective in reducing stormwater pollution as if it has the participation, partnership, and combined efforts of other groups in the community all working towards the same goal. The point of public involvement is to build on community capital—the wealth of interested citizens and groups—to help spread the message on preventing stormwater pollution, to undertake group activities that highlight storm drain pollution, and contribute volunteer community actions to restore and protect local water resources
Below are some different activities that should be encouraged and offered to provide opportunities to participate in the stormwater management program:
Adopt-A-Stream programs are an excellent public outreach tool for municipalities to involve citizens of all ages and abilities. They are volunteer programs in which participants “adopt” a stream, creek, or river to study, clean up, monitor, protect, and restores.
Storm Drain Marking
Storm drain marking involves labeling storm drain inlets with plaques, tiles, painted or pre-cast messages warning citizens not to dump pollutants into the drain. The messages are generally a simple phrase or graphic to remind those passing by that the storm drains connect to local waterbodies and that dumping will pollute those waters.
Stream Cleanup and Monitoring
Hosting a stream cleanup is an effective way to promote stormwater awareness. A stream cleanup allows concerned citizens to become directly involved in water pollution prevention. Participants volunteer to walk (or paddle) the length of the stream or river, collecting trash and recording information about the quantity and types of garbage that has been removed.
Volunteer monitoring programs encourage citizens to learn about their water resources Analyzing water samples for dissolved oxygen, nutrients, pH, temperature, and many other water constituents, evaluating the health of stream habitats and aquatic biological communities, making inventories of streamside conditions and land uses that may affect water quality, cataloging and collecting beach debris, and restoring degraded habitats.
Wetlands, unique ecosystems home to a great diversity of terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals, are beneficial in many ways. They improve water quality by filtering and accumulating pollutants, thereby protecting adjacent rivers, lakes, and streams. Citizens can plant wetland species to preserve existing wetlands and to enhance degraded wetland plant communities
Outdoor car washing that uses detergent-rich water flows down the street and into the storm drain.
Proper Disposal of Household Hazardous Waste
Many products found in homes contain chemicals potentially harmful to both people and the environment.