Middle James Roundtable Featured Projects
Richmond Regional Pet Waste Campaign
The goal of the Richmond Regional Pet Waste Committee is to educate the public about the environmental impacts of pet waste and the importance of picking up after pets. The committee was formed in response to many of the area's rivers and streams being impaired by bacteria, including bacteria from pet waste. The committee also aims to create uniformity in the information on pet waste that is being spread by the localities in the Richmond area.
The PUP Club was formed by the committee as a way to recognize pet owners that are doing their party by picking up after pets and properly disposing of the waste. To be come a member of the PUP Club, like the PUP Club Facebook page here. For more information visit http://www.cvwma.com/education_and_outreach/pet_waste.wbp.
PDFs of the Stop the Drop campaign posters are available: Click here for the generic poster. Click here for the James River poster.
James River Watershed Educational Activity Sheets
The Roundtable was awarded a Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Grant supporting the creation of educational activity sheets for children. The activity sheets educate children and adults about watersheds and pollution prevention; the activity sheets are suitable for diners, family-style restaurants, community centers, churches and schools. One of the main goals of this project is to reach a diverse audience throughout the watershed. There are over 62,000 sheets ready to be distributed across the James River watershed.
The activity sheet is designed to be an interactive way to educate and entertain children. The front of the sheet can be colored and allows for children to pinpoint everyday human activities and animals that impact the James River.
The back portion of the sheet contains activities that connect children
to the watershed including an educational and engaging pollution word
The James River Watershed Educational Activity Sheets contain a watershed
illustration that can be colored by kids and a variety of puzzles and activities.
To view a larger version, click here.
Storm Drain Markers
The Middle James Roundtable had curb markers designed to label storm drains
in the Middle James Watershed. These markers can be adhered to the sidewalk,
curb or grate and are an easily visible reminder that our storm drains flow directly
into the river untreated.
Storm drains are not trashcans. Water flows untreated from our storm drains into our rivers. Therefore any waste dumped into a storm drain will be carried directly into the water that we rely on for drinking and recreating. If we remember, "only rain down the drain" and we keep our trash, waste, motor oil, pet waste and chemicals out of our stormdrains we can do our part to improve local water quality.
The Middle James Roundtable has free curb marker kits available. Please contact the Roundtable Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
City of Richmond
Storm Drain Labels are being placed in the City of Richmond. Please note that some neighborhoods in the City of Richmond have a combined sewer system which carries both stormwater and sanitary waste to a sewage treatment plant before it is discharged back into the river. During heavy and prolonged rains this combined sewer system can reach capacity and overflow into the James River. Here is some information used on door hangers for the project in the City of Richmond.
What is Stormwater Runoff?
Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that flows over our rooftops, paved surfaces, sidewalks, bare soil and lawns. As this water flows over the land it picks up pollutants including fertilizer, pet waste, litter, pesticides, oil and soil.
What happens to Stormwater?
Storm drains carry stormwater off of our streets and paved surfaces. Most water entering storm drains eventually flows untreated to our rivers and streams. Some neighborhoods in the City of Richmond have a combined sewer system which carries both stormwater and sanitary waste to a sewage treatment plant before it is discharged back into the river. During heavy and prolonged rains this combined sewer system can reach capacity and overflow into the James River.
What can YOU Do?
Keep pollutants out of our storm drains!
- Pick up after your pets
- Use the right amount of fertilizer at the right time
- Don't litter
- Recycle your oil
- Dispose of hazardous chemicals properly
- Never dump anything down the storm drain!
The Middle James Roundtable’s Education and Outreach Working Group
had coasters designed that are being distributed to local restaurants throughout
the watershed. These coasters have 5 ways to help the James River
How can we help the James River?
There are countless things that we can do to improve water quality in our rivers and streams. There are five examples.
- Go Native. Landscape Your Lawn with Native Plants.
Native plants are those plants which have evolved in our region and have adapted to the unique climate, soils and rainfall specific to our region. Many of our native plants are losing habitat or space in which to grow. Planting your garden or landscaping your lawn with native plants not only preserves some of our natural history, it also reduces the amount of time and money you will need to spend on your garden or lawn, the amount of labor and expensive additives.
- Save Some $.Use the Right Amount of Fertilizer at the Right Time.
You can save yourself some money by testing the soil in your lawn before purchasing fertilizer. You can also save money by fertilizing at the right time of year when nutrients are needed the most and can be taken up by the plant's root system. Many grasses in Virginia should be fertilized in the fall rather than the spring. Never fertilize before it rains – not only will you be washing the fertilizer away and into our streams but you will also be washing your money away!
- See Spot Poop? See Dick and Jane Scoop.
Animal waste may contain harmful bacteria, viruses and nutrients that are detrimental to our waterways. If pet waste is not disposed of properly (sealed in a plastic bag and thrown away in the garbage or flushed down the toilet) it can be carried by stormwater into our waterways thus polluting our valuable natural resource. Do yourself a favor – Scoop the Poop!
- Only Rain Down the Drain. Water in Storm Drains Goes Untreated to our Rivers.
The water in storm drains is NOT treated before it enters our waterways. Therefore pieces of litter, animal waste, chemicals and motor oil that are dumped in the drain will flow directly to our rivers, which further pollutes our waters. Place your waste in the proper receptacles and recycle what you can!
- Spend a Day on the James.
Motivate yourself to help improve water quality in the James River by spending a day on or around the river. Spend a day swimming, boating, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, writing, sunbathing, hiking, or fishing and pause for a moment to realize how important the resource is that we are trying to protect.
"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." -- John Muir