Controlling stormwater helps mitigate flood events, reduce stream erosion, and reduce the amount of contaminants entering municipal streams and other water sources. In short, it is an important part of protecting human health and the environment – as well as moderating the negative economic impacts of stormwater runoff.
We are very excited to announce that Capital Strategic Solutions (CSS) is working with the Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition (CMRSWC) to enhance stormwater educational outreach by utilizing the social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 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.
“Stormwater management is an example of a decentralized problem, which requires amelioration across landscapes and on both private and public property. To achieve participation of all stakeholders – the concerns of all stakeholders must be considered.” stated Kerry Reed, Senior Stormwater & Environmental Engineer, Framingham Department of Public Works. “Having Capital Strategic Solutions on board with our MS4 Public Outreach Program has allowed our partner communities to reach a variety of community members by sharing internet-based educational resources.”
Efforts to control stormwater pollution must consider individual, household, and public behaviors and activities that can generate pollution from these surfaces. Therefore, it is important to make the public sufficiently aware and concerned about the significance of their behavior for stormwater pollution; and through information and education, that they change improper behaviors. Compliancy of the MS4 program grows as the public gains a greater understanding of the reasons why it is necessary and important.
“The social media channels and supplementary outreach campaign will serve as a toolkit to help participating communities meet the public education and outreach requirements of the 2016 MS4 Permit,” said Angela Panaccione, Conservation Agent and Stormwater Coordinator, Palmer MA. “In order to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for local officials who are working hard to meet these requirements, much of the material posted on social media is designed to direct online traffic to the Coalition’s website.”
Currently, there are 238 communities in the Commonwealth with municipal separate storm sewer systems that are required to implement stormwater management programs which comply with the Clean Water Act. In 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released an updated version of their 2003 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit. The new permit expands on the stringent requirements for MS4s to implement a public education and outreach program. Finding good resources that fit an educator’s needs can be difficult because often, there is no central location for such materials. Such materials also need to be tailored for the appropriate region, and need to be visible or promoted to become used.
The utilization of social media is a part of our layered approach for conducting public outreach. Social media is a cost-effective way to get the most messages out on a modest budget, while also driving web-traffic back to your homepage and other online resources. Capital Strategic Solutions works in concert with communities across Massachusetts to create programs that educate the public on the impacts of stormwater pollution. Learn more today! You can visitwww.capital-strategic-solutions.com, give us a call at (508) 690-0046, or email firstname.lastname@example.org