Spotlight on Hillsborough – Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Hillsborough as they work to grow their stormwater education and outreach programs and maximize their impact with the community!

Stormwater Almanac

The Hillsborough Stormwater and Environmental Services division publishes a Stormwater Almanac quarterly, featuring educational articles and updates on Town stormwater projects. The most recent issue highlighted the Town’s stormwater retrofit that directed additional stormwater runoff to a bioretention cell in Cates Creek park.

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Volunteers Help Maintain Wetland

Triangle Fly Fishers, a local fly fishing and conservation group recently completed maintenance at the Town of Hillsborough’s stormwater wetland located at Gold Park. Volunteers removed cattails, unwanted woody vegetation, as well as trash and debris. As part of the effort, Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager, Terry Hackett explained how the wetland functions to remove stormwater pollution which benefits the nearby Eno River.

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Citizens Academy

Stormwater and Environmental Services staff presented to the Town of Hillsborough’s 4th Citizens Academy. The Citizens Academy is a 7-week long program aimed at helping citizens increase their knowledge of town government, as well as their interest and ability in influencing and participating in town decisions.  Staff provided an overview of the town’s stormwater program, including the town’s stormwater management utility and associated fee. Participants then had the opportunity to ask questions to gain more insight about the town’s efforts to reduce stormwater runoff pollution.

Earth Evening 2018

Every year on the Friday night of Earth Week, the division speaks with the public and leads hands-on activities for all ages during the annual Earth Evening event at the Market Pavilion in River Park, downtown Hillsborough. This event is organized by Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation. The division also leads similar activities at local schools throughout the year.

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SCM Recognition Program

The division is kicking off a recognition program for owners of Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) this month. The town requires SCM owners to maintain their SCMs and submit annual inspection reports. The program will recognize those property owners who have exceptional compliance records and consistently maintain SCMs, following all applicable maintenance requirements. While recognizing deserving property owners, we also hope to achieve greater public awareness of our SCM inspection program.

For more information about the great work Hillsborough is doing, feel free to reach out to the Town’s Stormwater Coordinator Heather Fisher at 919-296-9622!

City of Raleigh 2018 Capture it! Stormwater Arts Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the City of Raleigh’s 2018 Capture it! Stormwater Arts Contest winners! Winners for the three categories below were announced at the 11th Annual Environmental Awards in March:

Video Winner – “Stormwater Video” by Ryann Bauguess, Rachel Young, and Kira Badrova

 

Check out the winning video below!

Storm Drain Stencil Design Winner  “All Drains to the Neuse” by Genna Stott

Storm Drain Stencil Winner 2018

Rain Barrel Artwork Design Winner – “Which Side are you on?” by Izabel de Angelo, Davis Lingle, Jonathan Clymer, and Taylor Gantt.

Rain Barrel Winner 2018

Spotlight on Durham: Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Durham and their longstanding Creek Week efforts, as well as their pledge to keep more plastic waste out of our waters!

There is a lot going on in March for both the City and County of Durham, as well as their many environmental partners in the community! Durham’s Creek Week has been an established event for the last decade, and each year it grows and evolves even more. In conjunction with this year’s Creek Week, there are lots of other great events, initiatives, and opportunities to get involved with cleaning up your environment and keeping our water safe. For a list of all Creek Week events, check out this website: Durham Creek Week Events Page.  Whether you’re interested in a litter cleanup event, planting a tree, or even a canoe paddle, you’ll definitely find something fun to do!

Skip the Straw!

More than 500,000,000 straws are used once and tossed every day in this country! Mayor Steve Schewel has proclaimed March “No Straws Month” in Durham: “Single use plastics that find their way onto our streets get washed through storm drains into local creeks and all the way to the ocean,” says Mayor Schewel. “Plastic litter is a roadside eyesore, and it also can be fatal to river and ocean animals.” To kick off the month, a screening of the environmental awareness documentary “Straws” by Linda Booker was provided at the Durham Arts Council on February 22nd – it was a packed house with help from Bull City Burger and Brewery, Pompieri Pizza, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Keep Durham Beautiful, The City of Durham Stormwater & GIS Services, Don’t Waste DurhamCompostNow, and other local environmentally conscious businesses!

Check out the trailer for “Straws” and learn more about this plastic pollution!

Several restaurants, bars, business, and other entities have taken the pledge to reduce or eliminate straw use in their establishments – some bars have even permanently moved to using only metal or other green straws! If you want to challenge yourself to have an impact on this type of plastic waste (and we promise, it’s won’t be too hard!), take the pledge at the link below:

Take the Pledge to SKIP THE STRAW here!

Don’t Litter, Man!

Don’t Litter, Man Full Video

Local Durhamite Pierce Freelon leads a litter art and beats workshop for youth at The Scrap Exchange to show that litter goes all the way to the ocean. Check out this fun video and show it to your kids, classroom, or even your coworkers!

City of Raleigh Capture It! Stormwater Art Contest Open Now!

Getting Students Interested in Water Quality Through Art and Film

The City of Raleigh Division of Stormwater Management is currently accepting entries for its ‘Capture It! Stormwater Arts Contest’. This is an opportunity for high school students to capture the importance of stormwater runoff through art and film in a way that will bring more awareness to the community about improving the water quality of Raleigh’s streams and lakes.

Students are encouraged to create one of the following to show residents how they can help keep streams clean.

  • A 60-second video;
  • A painting to be placed on a rain barrel; or,
  • A drawing to be used as a stencil for City of Raleigh storm drain covers.

Registration closes Friday, January 26, 2018. Winners in each category will receive a $300 prize, and will be featured at the 2018 Raleigh Environmental Awards. So get out there, make some art, and change your community for the better!

Spotlight on Chapel Hill – Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Chapel Hill and their robust stormwater program. Check out their fun local events educating their community about the importance of clean water!

2017 FestiFALL!

The Chapel Hill FESTIFALL was held on October 1, 2017. Participants were able to interact with Chapel Hill stormwater staff and get watershed smart!

During the FestiFALL, the Chapel Hill Stormwater Management’s booth had three stations:

  1. Find Your Watershed on the local map;

IMG_0158Jason Salat, Chapel Hill Stormwater Management, helps a resident find her address on the map and identify the subwatershed in which she lives.

2. Learn about pollution sources and how we can prevent water pollution with the Enviroscape watershed model;

IMG_0167Visitors of all ages learn about stormwater runoff and how we can prevent pollution through the Enviroscape watershed model activity.

3) Take a Pledge and get your photo taken with Grandma Beaver!

Jayden and Pedro make a pledge to pick up litter!Jayden and Pedro promise not to litter to keep our water cleaner and get their pictures taken with Grandma Beaver.

 

PERFECT WEATHER, PERFECT TEAMWORK!

The annual litter cleanup on Bolin Creek was held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 was a lot of fun for the 47 volunteers who learned about the watershed, then spruced up a public housing community and paths along the creek with removal of about 500 pounds of trash.  The 75% reduction of trash from a year ago was significant and illustrated better awareness and care of our environment as well as no recent flooding.

Perfect fall weather helped participants enjoy nature while working together during the cool morning.  Many thanks go to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools’ Blue Ribbon Mentor Program, Chapel Hill High School Student Environmental Education Coalition, Carrboro High School AP Environmental Science students, Chapel Hill Police Department and academy recruits, Stormwater Management’s volunteer stream monitors, Chapel Hill Public Housing staff, and families and friends who wanted to lend a helping hand!

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The only litter returned to the ground was a piece of wet cardboard under which two marbled salamanders guarded their eggs, waiting for a rain to hatch. Click this link to learn more about these critters!

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For more information about Chapel Hill Stormwater Management and the work they are doing to keep our water clean and healthy, contact Wendy Smith, Community Education Coordinator, at 919-969-7246.

 

Spotlight on Zebulon – Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Zebulon and how they’ve worked hard over the last few years to grow their program and educate their citizens on the importance of keeping stormwater clean and green!

Since 2012, the Town of Zebulon has worked to raise awareness of stormwater pollution and ways to prevent it. Below is Zebulon’s clean stormwater mascot, Mr. Drip. They have added him to all of their literature and to their website.

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Mr. Drip reminds residents to keep the drains clean.

In 2013, the town of Zebulon purchased a new sweeper and wrapped it with Mr. Drip, the “Only Rain in the Drain” slogan, and the reminder to not put grass clippings, leaves, motor oil, or trash in the storm drains. The message is on display every time Zebulon Public Works sweeps a town street, another aspect of keeping non-stormwater items from going down the drain as the street sweeper catches debris before it can enter the drain. “Stormwater” magazine featured their efforts and the sweeper in their June 2013 edition.

magazine clippingZebulon’s street sweeper made the June 2013 issue of Stormwater Magazine

To reach every resident who receives a municipal water bill, Zebulon developed a series of utility bill stuffers on individual topics and sends them out with the monthly water bills. The stuffers are an easy, low-cost way to keep residents thinking about prevention of stormwater pollution and allow us to promote specific ways the residents can help their town keep the stormwater system clean.

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Several times a year, when the Zebulon Public Works department has the opportunity to speak with youths and adults about stormwater pollution, they demonstrate their Enviroscape model. Tony Rose, Stormwater Superintendent, uses the model to show how fertilizers, chemicals, automotive oil and grease, animal waste, pesticides, and trash enter the storm drain system and travel to nearby rivers and streams. Tony offers tips to prevent contamination and preserve natural waters.

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Tony Rose, Stormwater Superintendent, using the Enviroscape model to explain stormwater pollution and ways to prevent it.

Civic group involvement enhances Zebulon’s efforts to educate people and maintain a clean stormwater system. A team of employees from Glaxo helped Zebulon Public Works mark storm drains in several neighborhoods as reminders to keep trash out of the drains. Rotary Club members participated in a litter sweep along one of Zebulon’s busier routes. All of these efforts help to raise awareness of the need to maintain a clean stormwater system throughout Zebulon.

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Glaxo employee marks storm drain to remind neighbors not to dump in the drain and pollute the Little River. Decal pictured below.

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Rotary Club members collect trash along Alt- Hwy 264E to prevent trash from entering the storm drain system and, eventually, the nearby streams.

Spotlight on Garner: Stormwater Program of the Month

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Garner, a tiny town with a huge commitment to stormwater management. Check out their unique solutions and exciting community events below!
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Volunteers Needed!

Help keep Garner Clean & Green!
 
Who: The Town of Garner
What: Semi-annual street and stream cleanup
When: Saturday, September 16 from 9-11am
Where: White Deer Park, 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner, NC 27529
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Breakfast, cleanup supplies, and water provided free of charge to all volunteers. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for more information about the event.

 
Did you know?
Town of Garner received the 2017 NC Source Water Protection Award of Excellence along with PEG Media partners, which help direct, film and edit all of Garner’s informative stormwater videos. Garner has been making these videos for several years, helping residents know what they can do to help keep our water supply clean and free from pollutants. Check out the videos at these links:
 
Water Quality:
 
Pet Waste:
 
Illicit Discharge:
 
 Little Town, Big Success
 
Garner prides itself on being a small town with a reputation for being customer friendly, but did you know they have a top-notch storm water program as well? For over 30 years, Garner has been performing stormwater management and watershed planning to protect local waterways and Lake Benson from pollutants and downstream flooding. New and innovative stormwater control measures have been designed and built on town properties and both new and redevelopment. This commitment to responsible stormwater management can be seen at parks such as White Deer and Lake Benson as well as on the new Town Hall campus.
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Help us keep up the good work by coming out to the semi-annual street and stream cleanup! We’ll be picking up litter that would otherwise flow into Lake Benson and pollute our drinking water. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for further information.
 
Questions? We’re here for you
For more information or specific questions, please contact Jaclyn Sumner, Stormwater Program Administrator in the Town of Garner Engineering Department (p) 919-773-4421|jsumner@garnernc.gov

Stormwater Program of the Month – Raleigh!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month features the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division, which is part of the City’s Engineering Department. Check out their great programs and opportunities below!

Stormwater Monitoring Workshop

Discover Raleigh’s Streams This Summer!

Learn how you can explore and keep a stream in your neighborhood clean by taking part in the Stormwater Management Division’s upcoming Stream Monitoring Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at Walnut Creek Wetland Center, 950 Peterson Street, Raleigh.  You will learn four easy steps to collecting samples from a stream that will help the City of Raleigh track the health of local waterways. The workshop is free for Raleigh residents and includes year-long monitoring supplies. Learn more and register online at http://www.raleighnc.gov/home/news/content/CorNews/Articles/StreamMonitoring.html

Stormwater Video Award Winners

This year’s recipients of the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division’s Streams & Stormwater Video Competition were named at the 2017 Environmental Awards, a ten-year celebration of individuals and organizations who display a commitment to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability.

Congratulations to Julian Simoes (1st place – “Be the Change”); Chloe Wen and her classmates (2nd place – “Cup of H2O”); and Jacob Fletcher, Carla Fuller, and Anton Baeza (3rd place – “Chaplin’s Lament”)!

Stormwater Successes in Raleigh

The City of Raleigh is always advancing their stormwater management in innovative, effective, and sustainable ways. Here are some highlights of this great program!

  • The City’s Drainage Assistance Program plans to complete more projects over the next two years that address drainage concerns on private property. A recent policy change also eliminated the cost-share portion of the program making it more affordable for Raleigh residents.
  • The Capital Improvement Program will nearly $24 million worth of projects over the next year to offer sustainable stormwater infrastructures in Raleigh’s neighborhoods that reduce flooding and limit erosion.
  • Additional Flood Hazard Mitigation Efforts continue to remove and restore flood-prone properties that were built prior to the current floodplain development regulations. Restoring the area to green space improves public safety in flood-prone areas and once again allows for natural function of the floodplain.
  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure efforts continue to establish policies, procedures, and resources that will include Green Stormwater Infrastructure in new development and redevelopment and bring innovative stormwater treatment options to the City of Raleigh.

For more information or specific questions, please contact Kristin Freeman, Communications Specialist for the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division (p) 919-996-4128 | (c) 919-817-4594 | kristin.freeman@raleighnc.gov

 

 

The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is back in action!

The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is a group of local citizens, government entities, and other stakeholders that originally met quarterly to discuss and implement plans to conserve and protect the Robeson Creek watershed. CWEP Partners including the Town of Pittsboro, Chatham County, and others support and are involved in this Council. Protection of the Robeson Creek area is an important component of the health of the Haw River, which is a main contributor to Jordan Lake. The group has not convened in recent years but has been rejuvenated with a great Council meeting on May 25, 2017.

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The team hopes to embark on many new conservation, rehabilitation, and watershed protection projects and goals moving forward. Check out the Robeson Creek Watershed Council brochure to learn more about the group, or follow them on Twitter at @RobesonCreek.

 

 

Town of Morrisville wins a 2017 EPA Rain Catcher Award!

The Town of Morrisville, a member of the CWEP group, was recognized for their excellent efforts in stormwater management by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by winning the 2017 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Municipal category!

The Town’s Northwest Park Project was created to provide a new neighborhood playground and public recreation spaces. They incorporated low-impact design elements such as green stormwater infrastructure to reduce the speed of water flowing through the area, as well as remove sediment and other pollutants like nutrients from the runoff. The parking lot and playground area were installed with permeable pavement to allow rainwater to soak through instead of flowing off, and also features a 3,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater for use in irrigating the landscaping. There are also fun and educational signs highlighting the projects to the park visitors.

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Congratulations to the Town of Morrisville – keep up the great work!

To learn more about what the Town is doing in stormwater managment or about this project, please visit the Town website here.