Public Education and Outreach
Compliance with the County's 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 Program - The mission of the 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.
County Watershed Calendar
The watershed calendar serves as a monthly reminder of the beauty of the watersheds of Contra Costa County, and the importance of protecting them. The calendar is mailed to over 52,000 County residents each November. Monthly sidebar tips educate residents about pollution prevention, water conservation, integrated pest management and other environmental messages.
Please think about reusing the calendar photos before recycling! Here are some creative ideas to turn the photos into an origami box, greeting cards, and more.
Storm 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.
Community Watershed Stewardship Grant – This funding source was established to fund various creek restoration and education projects throughout unincorporated areas of the County. The grant process is administered by the Watershed Project, a non-profit watershed organization. Grants are awarded annually in the amount of $5,000 – $20,000 per project.
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.
Bay Friendly Landscaping CWP also supports and has had staff from our Public Works and General Services Department(s) trained in the Bay Friendly Landscaping principals which we apply to our maintenance and new development projects. Concepts include: Soil Care (compost and mulch!) and Soil Food Web (diversity and support) Water and Waste Management
Plant Selection and Gardening for Wildlife
Integrated Pest Management
Air Quality and Energy Conservation
Bay Friendly Landscaping aligns with the County's IPM policy to reduce pesticide usage and the C.3 provision of the MRP which encourages Low Impact Design principles such as biofiltration and incorporation of stormwater management facilities to reduce run-off from new development sites.