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UCEC and CATA students join city engineers to clean up streams

Members of Central Academy of Technology and Art’s Environmental Club worked along with the City of Monroe's Engineering Department to clean Bearskin Creek. Below club members are pictures with Engineering Department Staff Member Jim Murray

As part of its ongoing effort to help protect local waterways and to meet state and federal regulations, the City of Monroe Engineering Department has recently coordinated with two volunteer groups from Union County high schools to participate in the City’s Adopt-A-Stream Program.

The objective of the program is to increase public involvement and promote awareness of protecting our water resources. The Adopt-A-Stream Program is one of several public involvement opportunities offered by the Engineering Department to help fulfill the requirements of the City’s NPDES Phase II Permit.

Groups that volunteer to participate in the Adopt-A-Stream Program maintain portions of local streams with semi-annual cleanups. Volunteers also report any water related issues or concerns observed during the stream cleanup. The Engineering Department assists these groups by identifying the locations of the streams to be adopted and by providing the necessary safety equipment and materials such as trash bags, safety vests, and gloves for the stream cleanups.

Members of the Union County Early College Environmental Club walked and collected trash from the section of Bearskin Creek adjacent to Dickerson Park. Students from Union County Early College have previously participated in the City’s Storm Drain Marking Program in which they installed markers onto storm drains with the message “No Dumping – Drains to Creek.” Marking storm drains helps educate the public and provides a visual reminder that pollutants that enter the storm drains go directly into our creeks.

Members of the Environmental Club from Central Academy of Technology and Arts (CATA) removed several hundred pounds of trash and debris from Bearskin Creek adjacent to Belk Tonawanda Park and Don Griffin Park. Approximately 40 students participated in the stream cleanup effort and removed items such as bottles, cans, tires, and assorted trash from the creek. Members of CATA’s Environmental Club have also participated in the City’s Storm Drain Marking Program on multiple occasions.

The City of Monroe Engineering Department would like to thank these groups for their efforts. Both volunteer groups will be returning to their adopted stream sites in the spring to collect additional trash. By participating in stream cleanups, these Union County students are helping to improve water quality in our streams, increase the aesthetic quality of the streams, and decrease hazards to aquatic life.

In recognition of their efforts, the Engineering Department will be installing Adopt-A-Stream signs with the groups’ names along roadways adjacent to the sections of Bearskin Creek that have been adopted.CATA students clean stream with City Engineer

Throughout the year, the City of Monroe Engineering Department educates citizens and businesses about stormwater pollution and prevention through various outreach programs. Improving the water quality of the City’s streams and lakes is a task that requires cooperation and participation from the local government, industry, businesses, and residents alike.

Educational material has also been distributed through utility bill inserts, newspaper advertisements, stormwater presentations, and city sponsored events and on the city’s Web site. Staff members are available to speak at schools, neighborhood meeting and to civic groups.

To learn more about the City’s Adopt-A-Stream Program or other stormwater outreach programs, please contact Harold Gaines in the Engineering Department at (704) 282-4535.

Written by: Peter Hovanec, City of Monroe Communications and Tourism Officer
Posted: Nov 22, 2013 by Rob Jackson

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