Public Information and Participation
The goals of the Program’s Public Information/Participation (PI/P) element are to identify and change behaviors that adversely affect water quality; and to increase the understanding and appreciation of streams and San Francisco Bay. To accomplish these goals, agencies conduct public outreach jointly through the Program, on a countywide basis, and individually within their own jurisdictions. For the past few years, the Program’s PI/P element has included the Watershed Watch Campaign, Schools and Youth Education Outreach and the Watershed Watchers Program at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center in Alviso.
Watershed Watch Campaign
The Watershed Watch Campaign is the main focus of the Program’s PI/P element. The Campaign is a multi-year education and outreach effort designed to increase the public’s awareness of watersheds and urban runoff issues including pollution prevention and pollutants of concern (e.g., pesticides, mercury, heavy metals and trash).
The Program uses a web site (www.mywatershedwatch.org) to provide detailed information about watersheds and watershed protection. The web site also includes information on the control of specific pollutants (e.g., pesticides and mercury) and educational material for children. Visitors have the opportunity to download materials, request information, provide feedback and ask questions.
Schools and Youth Education Outreach
Since FY 02-03, the Program has sponsored educational assemblies at Santa Clara County elementary schools. These assemblies, which are presented by the musical entertainment group ZunZun, educate children about watersheds, pollutants and pollution prevention.
Watershed Watchers Program at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Education Center (EEC)
To support a full-time interpretive specialist position, the Program provides resources to the Watershed Watchers Program at the EEC. Watershed Watcher activities, which are conducted on-site and primarily on the weekends, focus on building watershed awareness and encourage stormwater pollution prevention behaviors among attendees (youth groups, Boy/Girl Scout Troops, families with children, etc.).