November 16 is Storm Drain Stenciling Day! You can help to prevent storm drain pollution in the City of San Diego through storm drain stenciling, a great program we offer sponsored by Think Blue. By marking the drains with a pollution prevention message, you are educating the public that no oil, soap, or debris should go down the drains. We’ll have a big event on November 16th at Polaris Breen Park in Mira Mesa, but check out our website for how you can sign up any day. You may be wondering why we’re running around with stencils and buckets of paint, and what a storm drain even is. Read on for some quick facts and how you can get involved (you can also check out this brief video about the program)! So why is storm drain stenciling important? Urban storm-water runoff is considered the biggest contributor to coastal marine pollution. Both human forces (irrigation runoff and illegal dumping) and natural forces (wind and rain) move trash and other pollutants into our natural waterways, storm drains, and flood control channels. By stenciling the drains with the pollution prevention message, we remind people that oil, soap, gum, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and chip bags don’t belong in the storm drains.
Umm, what IS a storm drain? The storm drain system is designed to prevent flooding by carrying rainwater from city streets to the ocean. Yet, chemicals, trash, and oil that have been spilled between rains can also enter the storm drain system. From here they enter pipelines that are not connected to the sewer system, and the water from the storm drains eventually flows, untreated, into the ocean, causing large amounts of pollution.
Why should I participate? It takes the help of our volunteers to get these storm drains stenciled; without you, this project cannot succeed! The few minutes it takes to stencil a storm drain provides years of reminders to our neighbors that they must be careful about what goes into the drains. I Love A Clean San Diego encourages you to think green and “Think Blue!” This sounds great!! How do I sign up? You can check out our website for all the details. For more information about this program, or to schedule your own stenciling project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.