Public Education and Outreach

Compliance with the County's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit would be virtually impossible without the help of the residents of the County who work to ensure pollutants stay out of the storm drain system.

We spread the "Only Rain Down the Drain" message through various public education programs and outreach publications including:

Keep the Delta Clean logo with Stanley the Striped Bass - you play in it you drink it tooKeep the Delta Clean Program - The mission of the Keep the Delta Clean (KDC) Program is to educate the recreational boating community about environmentally sound boating practices. KDC accomplishes this by disseminating boater kits filled with useful boater resource information, maps and items for protecting water quality. KDC also seeks to improve public access to marina-based pollution prevention services, such as recycling centers for used oil, oil absorbent, and fishing line.  

Storm drain inlet marker with Stanley the Striped BassStorm Drain Inlet Marking - "No Dumping Drains to Delta / Bay" markers are being installed at all public storm drain inlets throughout the County. Many people remain unaware that the County's storm drain inlets do not route water to a treatment facility. Discharges to the storm drain flow untreated to pollute receiving waterways. Storm drain markers remind people of this fact and discourage non-stormwater discharges.

Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour showcases gardens throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties, and features gardens of all sizes and budgets, from modest to high end. Gardens range from a magnificent 50-year-old collector's garden to several that are newly installed, and from five-acre lots to small front gardens in the flats. Garden styles run the gamut—from restoration gardens containing local native plants to the horticulturally available suite of natives from throughout California, and from gardens designed and installed by owners to those designed and installed by professionals.

The Tour benefits the health of watersheds as it promotes pesticide-free and water-conserving gardening, and the inclusion of native plants in home and business gardens, as they provide habitat for wildlife. More information can be found here.

Rescape - The County Watershed Program also supports and has had staff from our Public Works and General Services Department(s) trained in the Bay Friendly Landscaping principals through ReScape (formerly Bay-Friendly Landscaping). They are based on 8 core principles which foster soil health, conserve water, sequester carbon and protect valuable resources while reducing waste and preventing pollution. 

These 8 principles align with the County's IPM policy to reduce pesticide usage and the C.3 provision of the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit which encourages Low Impact Design principles such as biofiltration and incorporation of stormwater management facilities to reduce run-off from new development sites.