Litter not only clutters roadways and greenspaces, it also makes its way into our streams and rivers – threatening the animals and plants that live in those habitats. And, as our water sources become more polluted, the more it costs to treat the water we drink. For example the cost to effectively treat water from Lake Lanier to drinking water standards can range from $43 to a whopping $129 per million gallons.
Much like Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Road and Take Pride in Gwinnett programs – where local civic groups, churches, organizations, families, and/or companies can “adopt” a portion of a road or median along a major roadway to maintain by picking up litter – we are also proud to partner with the Water Protection Division of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and Gwinnett County to offer a program of a more nautical nature. The Adopt-a-Stream program provides information and assistance to the public regarding non-point source pollution, stream monitoring, protection and restoration. Teachers, students and the general public are invited to attend workshops that outline the Georgia EPD’s Monitoring protocol, which helps promote the protection of our county’s fragile aquatic ecosystem.
In addition to Adopt-a-Stream, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful partners closely with Gwinnett County’s Storm Water Management, Extension Service, Department of Environmental Health, Planning and Development, Parks and Recreation, and Public Schools, as well as other State and Federal Agencies to provide further initiatives designed to save our waterways.
Storm Drain Stenciling is a program Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful helped launch in Georgia to educate the public about non-point source pollution. Non-point source pollution can include runoff, seepage, or drainage of harmful pollutants such as fertilizers, insecticides, oil, toxic chemicals, pet waste, and more into our streams and rivers. Through the Storm Drain Stenciling Program, volunteers stencil NO DUMPING… LEADS TO STREAM on catch basins and distribute door hangers shaped like fish to all homes in their subdivision. Door hangers provide information about non-point source pollution and how citizens can get involved in saving our streams.
In conjunction with Georgia Rivers Alive, the County also schedules stream clean-ups and shore sweeps at various streams and lakes around Gwinnett every spring and fall. During these events, participants play a vital role in keeping our waterways clean by picking up trash they find along a lake shoreline or stream bank. One of our most popular events is the Lake Lanier Shore Sweep – hosted in conjunction with the Lake Lanier Association. For more than two decades, we’ve gathered more than a thousand volunteers each September to pick up trash along the shoreline of lovely Lake Sidney Lanier in North Gwinnett.
For more information about Adopt-A-Stream or to volunteer for Stream Clean-ups, Lake Lanier Shore Sweep or Storm Drain Stenciling, please visit www.gwinnettcounty.com or contact Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (770) 822-5187.
Some other important ways you can help save our streams:
- Keep Your “Butts” in your Car: If you smoke, you should avoid tossing your cigarette butts out of your car window. They often inevitably find their way to our waterways and – thanks to Gwinnett County’s comprehensive litter prevention and control ordinance – littering is illegal. If you don’t smoke, but happen to witness someone tossing a butt from their car, you can report it to Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful by calling (77) 822-5187. Gwinnett County’s littering ordinance imposes fines ranging from $200 to $1,200 for those caught littering on public or private property.
- Proper Handling of Household Chemicals: Household chemicals like paint, fertilizers, insecticides, and more are often responsible for non-point source pollution which can have a dangerous effect on our waterways. Consider recycling, reusing, or properly disposing of these items in order to avoid non-point source pollution. If you are unsure how to dispose of a household chemical, be sure to visit the Recycle Now page on the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful website and select your material from the drop-down menu for step-by-step instructions.
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