The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Watershed Academy is sponsoring a free Webcast Seminar on Thursday, October 27, 2011 “Conducting Effective Stormwater Outreach.” A CFE project, “Changing Homeowner’s Lawn Care Behavior to Reduce Nutrient Runoff in New England’s Urbanizing Watersheds” led by interim director Brian Eisenhauer, will be featured as part of the Webcast. Brian’s work involved applying environmental and behavioral research to educational efforts by Cooperative Extension offices to reduce the application of excess nutrients by homeowners in targeted, urbanizing neighborhoods throughout New England. The project helped develop materials for Think Blue Maine. CFE graduate students also participated in the project.
The webinar will help state and local agencies, municipalities, watershed groups and others design effective outreach initiatives. It will showcase EPA’s Nonpoint Source (NPS) Outreach Toolbox, which offers a variety of stormwater TV, radio and print ads, and other tools. Featured products cover: general stormwater, lawn and garden care, pet care, septic system care, motor vehicle care, and household chemicals. The webinar will also feature Think Blue Maine. This successful awareness and behavior change outreach effort by the Think Blue Maine partnership included the development and airing of a 30-second Public Service Announcement (Devil Ducks) and the creation of posters, door hangers and other products. Recent survey results show a marked increase in public understanding and a willingness to take actions to protect water quality.
More information is available from the EPA Watershed Academy. (Thanks to EPA’s Water Headlines for part of this story.)