EPA Requiring Local Governments to Initiate Storm Water Pollution Public Awareness Campaigns

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"Love Your Stream", "Low Impact Living" fine art posters inspire change, teach residents best storm water practices. Teaching people to keep rain water clean creates healthier families, community, and saves millions of dollars.

Love Your Stream poster

We use it as a way to show people what it could look like to live in a community where everyone is doing their part to manage the runoff on their property.

When the Environmental Protection Agency announced that all municipal and county governments with populations greater than 50,000 had to start educating their residents on rainwater management, ten state and local agencies in the Pacific Northwest turned to Timothy Colman for help. Colman's company, Good Nature Publishing, specializes in working with well-known artists to create and publish environmental-themed art. With help from popular children's book artist Sherry Neidigh, Colman created a poster entitled "Love Your Stream," which looks nothing like a typical government public awareness poster. It's, well ... beautiful and fun.

"Love Your Stream" art helps kids up to 5th grade understand how they can keep water clean, their families healthier.

Good Nature developed "Low Impact Living" poster with the help of oil painter Teresa Fasolino for young people and adults to imagine the new green city. Art work helps citizens learn top ten practices for keeping polluted stormwater out of our rivers and streams.

"People love the artwork!" raves Candace Stoughton, Low Impact Development Manager of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District in Portland, OR whose agency was one of ten to commission the project. "We use it as a way to show people what it could look like to live in a community where everyone is doing their part to manage the runoff on their property." Rainwater management is particularly concerning in the Pacific Northwest, where small and large bodies of water like the Columbia River and Puget Sound are exposed to massive amounts of rainwater and waterborne pollutants such as fertilizers and pet waste.

The agencies who commissioned the "Low Impact Living" and "Love Your Stream" posters plan on distributing 15,000 of the posters to schools and public places across Washington and Oregon this fall. Colman is also making the poster available to the public through the Good Nature Publishing website Good Nature Publishing.

The two low impact development poster field guides shows people using clean water tools like rain gardens, rain barrels and cisterns to help restore spongy soil that has been largely paved over with roads and houses. It shows how installing green roofs and pervious pavement absorbs, spreads and slows storm water running off rooftops, streets and sidewalks. Along the bottom are simple practical tips like "Pick up after your pets" and "Use soaker hoses" to encourage adults and children alike to become active in improving storm water runoff. The poster itself is printed on greenest papers in North America.

Colman sums up why the poster is so effective: "Art works better than photographs. We translate 10,000 words into a picture that people can look at and get instantly. Artists can develop scenes that integrate many practices into one picture in a way that a photograph cannot. The power of painting pictures helps people learn about the natural world, and make outreach and educational material more interesting for teachers. And the results will be innovative educational efforts that get millions of gallons of stormwater out of our gutters and into our soil. When our cities look like 'Low Impact Living' art shows -- we'll save millions of dollars, too."

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