Tags on storm drains aim to raise awareness

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

FRANKLIN—Continuously educating the public about environmental issues can prove draining.

That’s why Blackwater Nottoway Riverkeeper Jeff Turner hopes that after implementing a project this weekend, that task will get a little easier.

The program has purchased about $800 worth of stainless steel markers that will be attached to city storm water drains, reminding people that foreign substances should not be dumped there.

The Tag-A-Drain

project initially was scheduled to take place in November, but due to damp weather, with not much relief in sight, it was postponed.

&uot;We particularly want

to target drains located on the street or in apartment complexes where people park their vehicles,&uot; Turner said.

&uot;People don’t think twice about dumping things like motor oil and anti-freeze in the drains, which lead to the river.&uot;

The drain markers are painted with the Riverkeeper Program’s name and the words &uot;No dumping, drains to river.&uot;

Along with Scoutmaster Phillip Bradshaw, Carrsville Boy Scout Troop 37 is going to handle the execution of the project on Saturday.

&uot;We hope to have about 10 Scouts,&uot; Bradshaw said, &uot;and probably six or seven adults.&uot;

The troop will gather at the boat landing adjacent to Barrett’s Landing, where, after a briefing about how to attach the tags to the storm drains, half will continue through the city searching for drains to mark, and the other half will take an Eco-Cruise with Turner. The groups will then rotate activities.

Eco-Cruise is an educational trip on the water in the Riverkeeper pontoon boat, which Turner likens to

a &uot;floating classroom.&uot;

Turner said, &uot;I have a few areas in mind that will be identified for the tags, but also, I am going to give them some leeway to scout around and identify some of the storm drains.&uot;

The BNRP will provide the Scouts with 100 markers to put in place, and according to Bradshaw, the project will assist some of the older troop members earn the World Conservation Award.

&uot;Being conservation oriented and protecting the environment is part of Scouting,&uot; he said.

Bradshaw has been very involved in the BNRP as a member through the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors and also the Carrsville Ruritan Club.

According to Turner, if the project goes well, another round of

Tag-A-Drain markers may be ordered in the future.

&uot;They should hold up against the weather,&uot; he said of the markers, and will be more permanent than using a stencil and spray paint.&uot;

For more information about the BNRP, log onto www.blackwaternottoway.com