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Protect Our Waters

Workgroup Leader: Meghan Lavelle Peterson

Protect Our Waters asks residents to adopt a drain in their neighborhood and keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris to reduce water pollution.


Protect Our Waters: Volunteer for Cleaner Waterways

Imagine dedicating just fifteen minutes, twice a month, to significantly benefit our environment. This small investment can lead to cleaner waterways, reduced flooding, and healthier communities. How? Through the Adopt-a-Drain initiative.

Why Should We Care?

Storm drains are designed to prevent flooding by diverting excess rainwater and melting snow. However, their purpose is not merely about managing water. When left unattended, these drains can quickly become conduits for trash, leaves, and other pollutants that flow directly into our local lakes, rivers, and wetlands.

Here's the ripple effect of a neglected storm drain:

  1. Water Pollution & Ecosystem Disruption: Decaying organic materials, like leaves and grass clippings, release pollutants in our waterways. These pollutants deplete oxygen, adversely affecting fish and other aquatic life.

  2. Safety Hazards: Blocked drains pose risks to cyclists and motorists.

  3. Increased Maintenance Costs: Clearing clogged drains results in higher costs for the community.

  4. Water Supply Contamination: The Mississippi River, a source of water for over 50 communities, is at risk of contamination from these pollutants.

How Can You Contribute?

Adopt-a-Drain is a simple yet impactful initiative. Residents are urged to "adopt" a local storm drain, ensuring it remains free from debris.

Here are steps to make a difference:

  • Regular Checks: Spend fifteen minutes, twice a month, inspecting and cleaning your adopted storm drain.

  • Yard Maintenance: Keep leaves and grass clippings off streets. Use mulching lawnmowers or compost at home, and make use of services like the City of Raleigh’s curbside yard debris collection.

  • Mindful Fertilizer Usage: Opt for slow-release and organic fertilizers, applying them in the fall to prevent nutrient run-off in spring rains.

  • Spread the Word: Inform neighbors about the importance of keeping storm drains clean and encourage them to join the Adopt-a-Drain movement.

Your Role in a Bigger Picture

Every storm drain kept clean is a step towards healthier waterways. By preventing the entry of trash and pollutants into these drains, we ensure that our creeks, streams, lakes, and the mighty Mississippi remain pristine.

Join the Protect Our Waters initiative. Together, let's ensure our waterways remain clean and our communities thrive, one drain at a time.

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