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Ashland Stormdrain marking

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Across America, stormwater is one of the leading causes of water pollution. Stormwater runoff occurs when precipitation from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground so the stormwater picks up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flows into a storm sewer system, which directly discharges into our streams and rivers. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water. While there is much work to do to minimize the impacts of stormwater runoff, we also need to prevent the direct discharge of pollutants to these storm drains.

Many people don't realize that urban stormdrains flow directly into our creeks without any treatment. As a result, people dump things—like paint or oil—into stormdrains, or rinse chemical soaps off to their cars and into the stormdrains and creeks.

Rogue Riverkeeper is coordinating with the City of Ashland to mark all stormdrains in the city with medallions that read, "No Dumping, Drains to Stream." We are recruiting community members to donate a few hours of their time to team up and mark drains in their neighborhood. We provide all the materials, training and support, and you help make our community a better place by protecting our waterways! We intend to complete this project before the rains return in late 2011. You can be a team captain and organize your friends, family and/or neighbors, or we can team you up with another group.

Please contact lesley@rogueriverkeeper.org if you would like to volunteer.

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