Education & Outreach
The key to implementing and managing an effective storm water management program begins with community awareness and involvement. The programs will be designed to give the public a better understanding of why storm water management is essential. The City of Oregon Department of Public Service has structured the best management practices (BMPs) to address the pollutants that impact our area. The public education and outreach programs will work to distribute educational materials and conduct outreach activities to encourage the public to take action in reducing these pollutants. The combined efforts of the community and the Department of Public Service will improve the quality of the area streams and Lake Erie.
Clear Choices Clean Water
Most pollution is caused by humans, and everyone is responsible for doing something about it. The City of Oregon is a proud partner in the Clear Choices Clean Water program, an initiative that promotes making a few small changes around your home, business, and community to help make a positive difference in water quality. The Clear Choices Clean Water website provides a variety of resources to help you learn more about water conservation, native plants and rain gardens, lawn fertilizers, and many more ways to protect water quality. The interactive website also features a pledge option that calculates the specific amount of pollution you’ve prevented and has a map feature that shows you who else in your community is doing their part for water quality!
Take an Action Pledge Today! Be part of a fast-growing movement around the region to help make simple choices to protect local water resources. Post your water quality choices (pledges) to your social media and invite other friends and family to join you in your effort!
Give Water a Hand
In cooperation with Partners for Clean Streams (now supporting the Maumee RAP), an educational brochure campaign “Give Water a Hand: You Can Make a Difference” took place over a fourteen month period. The campaign combined the distribution of a designated brochure with a corresponding advertisement in the Toledo Blade. The tip cards were be distributed by mailing to the households. The distribution occurred as follows:
- Save money on your lawn care maintenance and reduce pollution in storm water by not fertilizing your lawn by conventional methods.
- Spring cleaning is a great way to organize your house, but you should take care when disposing of old computers, electronics, and other hazardous items.
- The Great Lakes, which account for 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, are a local resource that you can protect through storm water management. The Great Lakes are fed by local streams and rivers, which often contain pollution from storm water runoff. Increased use of biofiltration in place of conventional ditches can improve water quality and habitat, reduce erosion and flooding, and provide economic benefits for this region. The factsheet gives on overview of the positive effects of riparian setbacks and biofiltration systems.
- Proper disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW) prevents storm water pollution and it’s the law. The factsheet will help you identify common HHW sources and provide information on the options for recyling and disposal.
- Dog waste and cat litter are a source of pollution for our streams if not properly disposed.
- Grass clippings, tree branches and other yard debris can be put to good work. Re-use it as fertilizer, compost, or mulch.
- Many of us enjoy hand washing our vehicles at home. However, when a car is washed on a paved surface like in a driveway or in a parking lot the soap, detergent, automotive fluids, oil, and roadway dirt that gets rinsed from the vehicle flows straight into nearby storm drains.
The importance of our waterways cannot be overstated. Our waterways are needed for economic growth, they provide us with recreational opportunities, supply us with drinking water, and enhance our over all quality of life. Throughout the region, many organizations and inpiduals are making great strides toward cleaner streams. The Maumee RAP and City of Oregon have partnered together with other area jurisdictions and organizations to deliver to our region the message of how everyone can make a difference.
The Give Water a Hand Business Campaign is the first water quality education program in our region to focus entirely on helping businesses save money, time, and resources while protecting our area’s rivers and streams. This program will provide business owners and managers information and assistance to help them save money and prevent pollution. We hope you will join with other inpiduals in our region to become a Give Water a Hand Partner.
How Can Your Business Benefit?
Participating businesses benefit in several ways including:
- Save money! Reduce operating expenses by improved housekeeping
- Save time! Less time will be needed to fix a problem if it is managed properly
- FREE technical assistance to identify opportunities to prevent pollution
- Personal satisfaction that your business is doing something to help protect the environment
How Does The Program Work?
The owner or manager of an eligible business (food service, vehicle service, mobile home repair and maintenance, and stationary businesses and storage facilities) requests a Give Water a Hand Business Campaign package from their community. This package includes a Guidebook directed to the issues of your type of business, companion poster to help educate employees, and a voluntary Self-Assessment Form.
Business owner or managers need to:
- Review the time and money saving tips highlighted in the Guidebook
- Complete the simple Self-Assessment Form
- Request a site visit by your local community Give Water a Hand Partner
- Implement money saving and water protecting practices identified on your Assessment Form
After reviewing the Guidebook, you should understand how your business activities could impact your wallet and our waterways. Completing the voluntary Self-Assessment Form allows you to determine what money saving best management practices (BMPs) your business can do to save you money while protecting our rivers and streams. To request a Guidebook or to schedule a site visit, please call the Department of Public Service at (419) 698-7047.
Oregon Spring Fest
Oregon Spring Fest is held annually in May by the City of Oregon and other civic organizations. The festival provides an opportunity to present many educational and recreational activities and exhibits.
The Department of Public Service Storm Water display includes information about storm water awareness, storm water pollution prevention, and how to become involved. Also showcased is the EnviroScape® Model.
The EnviroScape® Model is an educational tool that illustrates the human impact on the environment by causing or reducing runoff pollution and erosion. This concept is demonstrated by applying powdered drinks to the plastic urban landscape and then a rain event is produced by spraying water onto the model. The result can be observed as the various colors of powdered drinks are transported to the lake area by the rain.
If you are interested in seeing a demonstration of this model, please call the Department of Public Service at (419) 698-7047.