Stormwater is the runoff water after it rains or snows. Stormwater picks up litter, debris, and chemicals as it flows over the land and into storm drains, carrying these pollutants to our wetlands, lakes and rivers.
Point sources of water pollution have largely been cleaned up and are closely regulated. But non-point source pollution, or stormwater pollution, is a much harder water pollution problem to control as it is literally everywhere and caused by everyone. For instance, sources of stormwater pollution include lawn fertilizers, oil leaks from cars, winter sand and road salt, and pet waste.
Stormwater pollution is on the rise due to the increasing severity and frequency of storms resulting from climate change and due to the increasing amount of impermeable surfaces (such as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, rooftops) typically associated with increasing development.
The SuAsCo Watershed Community Council has created an award-winning program called “Stormwater Matters” to help educate the public about stormwater, and to inspire citizens, businesses, developers, municipal officials, students, and all community members to employ practices that clean up stormwater and improve water quality.
Stormwater Matters educational materials developed by the Council include: flyers, tabletop displays, public awareness surveys, raffles for stormwater logo umbrellas, a stormwater lesson plan for 5th/6th graders, aerial photo maps of municipalities, Massachusetts watershed maps, a poster contest for students, PowerPoint programs, media toolkits, banners, window decals, storm drain marking kits, posters, postcards, and a “Stormwater Matters” ad campaign. Many of these materials are also provided in a format suitable for a community’s website and cable television programming.
The Stormwater Matters materials are creative, professional quality, easy to use, cost-effective, and customizable. Stormwater Matters has been praised by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an excellent educational tool for meeting stormwater requirements, improving public awareness, and ultimately cleaning up our freshwater and marine environments.
Stormwater Matters materials have been used in the following Massachusetts communities to help comply with their federal Phase II stormwater permit: Acton, Adams, Ashland, Bedford, Billerica, Boylston, Chelmsford, Danvers, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Littleton, Lowell, Maynard, Natick, Needham, Newton, North Attleboro, Northborough, Plymouth, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Upton, Wareham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Westborough, Westford, and Weston.
For more information about stormwater or to purchase Stormwater Matters materials, please visit our stormwatermatters website.