A 2005 report by the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation found that 78 percent of the American public does not understand that runoff from agricultural land, roads, and lawns, is now the most common source of water pollution; and nearly half of Americans (47 percent) believe industry still accounts for most water pollution.
Small and medium-sized communities with municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s) face significant challenges in implementing stormwater management programs to comply with Clean Water Act requirements, control flooding, and protect local water resources. A critical element of an effective stormwater management program is public outreach and stakeholder engagement. Because stormwater runoff is generated from dispersed land surfaces — pavements, yards, driveways, and roofs — efforts to control stormwater pollution must consider individual, household, and public behaviors and activities that can generate pollution from these surfaces. It takes individual behavior change and proper practices to control such pollution. Therefore, it is important to make the public sufficiently aware and concerned about the significance of their behavior for stormwater pollution, through information and education, that they change improper behaviors.
Phase II MS4s are required to educate their community on the pollution potential of common activities, and increase awareness of the direct links between land activities, rainfall-runoff, storm drains, and their local water resources. Most importantly the requirement is to give the public clear guidance on steps and specific actions that they can take to reduce their stormwater pollution-potential.
Our Team's Principles for Public Outreach
Keep the messaging simple.
Publish short messages at a high frequency.
For the public, the practical message is important (do’s and don’ts) – understanding the details and definitions of industry words is not.
Retain focus on unifying seasonal themes for separate storm systems.
Notice what is going on in media/public attention and build on this momentum (like drought season during summer, etc).
To build an effective campaign, our team takes a consistent, layered approach.
Social media can be the most cost-effective: to get the most messages out on a modest budget.
An informed and knowledgeable community is vital to the success of any stormwater management program. Capital Strategic Solutions works in concert with communities across Massachusetts to create programs to educate the public on the impacts of stormwater pollution and implement measures to improve water quality and reduce the quantity of illicit discharge. Learn more today! Visit www.capital-strategic-solutions.com, give us a call at (508) 690-0046, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.