Education, Outreach and Communications
The City of Racine, Wisconsin's Root River Environmental Education Community Center serves the community as a center for information about the natural world. The Center also provides and experiential connection between citizens and the Great Lakes.
The City of Oshawa has implemented a number of Climate Change adaptation measures. From floodline mapping, to developing a regional climate adaptation plan, to citizen outreach initiatives, the town has been actively involved in climate change adaptation.
Adapting to climate change means adapting the way we do things – in all areas of our lives – to respond to the changing circumstances. Councillors (elected members) play a key role in championing adaptation and the local level. Their awareness of the risks of business as usual and their passion for community wellbeing puts them in the best position to develop public awareness of, and the political will, for taking action on adaptation. This paper identifies councillors' leadership role in the adaptation agenda and presents five recommendations to increase councillor efficacy.
The Toronto Outdoor Water Efficiency program is a multi-pronged approach to educating citizens about efficient uses of water. The two primary goals were reducing water use during peak hours and encouraging citizens to plant water-friendly gardens. The campaign included information about water-friendly plants and other lawn and garden practices. The city began this campaign as an alternative measure to increasing flow capacity; instead, the city invested resources in water use reduction efforts.
In 2005, the City of Chicago began a water education campaign to demonstrate grassroots stormwater best management practices through rain barrels and rain gardens. 400 residences were equipped with rain barrels, and the city estimated that over 170,000 gallons of water were conserved from these rain barrel installations. Additional information about the campaign's ongoing programs can be found by clicking on the adjacent link.
The City of Duluth, Minnesota has created an outreach program to educate its citizens on water quality issues that affect the health of Lake Superior. The program focuses on watershed awareness and involved stream-specific educational cards that were distributed to schoolchildren.
Through the City of Superior's Stormwater Education program, fifth and sixth graders are able to tour the city's wastewater treatment plant.The plant invites all fifth and sixth grade classrooms each year and provides funding for buses, bus drivers, and snacks at the treatment plant. Treatment plant staff also discuss water quality programs like rain barrel installation, rain gardens, composting, and beach clean-ups. Because poor weather can cause visit cancellations, the wastewater treatment plant also created a “virtual tool” option. The program has become a great success and is a highlight of the year for many students and teachers
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The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has published that brochure to help citizens understand how stormwater is managed in cities and how they can contribute to water runoff's quality.
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Clean your Streams is an activity held along streams in the Maumee River Watershed coordinated by Partners for Clean Streams. Taking place every year since 1997, the clean-up day gathers almost a thousand of volunteers that remove tons of trash on the riverbanks.