Monday, August 15, 2022

New Initiative to Remind Residents to Keep Regional Waterways Clean

(Courtesy of askHRgreen.org)

HAMPTON ROADS — On Sunday, May 31, AskHRGreen started a new campaign to remind residents of the importance of keeping regional waterways clean.

Throughout the extended Clean the Bay Day initiative, which runs May 31-June 5, AskHRGreen, a local resource that provides residents with tips to keep waterways clean and protect the environment, has installed 50 decals throughout Hampton Roads to remind resident not to put litter, harmful chemicals, and debris into storm drains.

“We wanted to highlight everyone’s connection to our local waterways,” said Katie Cullipher, a team leader for AskHRGreen.

According to AskHRGreen, litter and other harmful substances that gather in drains not only harm the environment, but also encourages others to litter in that location and even could decrease property values.

(Courtesy of askHRgreen.org)

The brightly colored decals, which are located throughout Hampton Roads, feature either a heron or crab with messages regarding the importance of clean waterways. Residents are encouraged to snap selfies with the decal and post on social media platforms using the hashtag, #LoveTheBay.

The places chosen for the decals were ones that were in public, easily accessible areas where there is some level of foot traffic.

“We have a good mix of public parks, recreation centers and city thoroughfares, along with the beachy areas, too,” said Cullipher.

Throughout the week-long Clean the Bay Day initiative, participants are also encouraged to perform litter clean-up when and where they are able to do so.

“There are lots of ways to get involved with cleanups throughout the year,” said Cullipher. “Grab a bag and take a walk. Get together with coworkers once a month to clean up an area near your office. Or host a cleanup with a youth group or family members.”

Cullipher noted that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a heightened level of single-use, disposable PPE that has been littered. Also, disinfecting wipes that have been improperly disposed have been a hazard to the environment. It must be noted that these wipes may contain plastic fibers, which are not biodegradable. Additionally, they cannot be washed. Disinfecting wipes should always be thrown in a trash can for disposal.

AskHRGreen has the following tips in order to keep our local waterways clean and healthy:

  • Only send rain down the storm drain.
  • If you see litter, pick it up.
  • Be conscientious when fertilizing your lawn and keep excess chemicals from running off and polluting local waterways.
  • Always scoop the poop when walking your dog and when they “go” in your yard.
  • Never blow leaves or grass clippings into the street or storm drain.
  • Be a responsible boater by pumping out, not dumping out.
  • Organize your own #TeamUp2Cleanup event. Find cleanup resources and more at www.askHRgreen.org/programs/team-up.

“Clean the Bay Day happens once a year, but we’re surrounded by water here in Hampton Roads every day,” said Cullipher. “Even though you may not live on the water, you’re never very far from it, and our actions can impact the Chesapeake Bay and local waterways.”

To find decals near you, check out the regional map for AskHRGreen by clicking here.

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