Wildfires are devastating communities across California, causing more than 300,000 people to evacuate their homes and threatening many more. The Camp Fire in Northern California -- one of three blazing across the state -- is the most destructive in state history. We want to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you find access to shelter. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know the most effective ways to contribute.
When it rains, the water running along the gutters in the street vanishes down storm drains. Where does the water go? The water in a storm drain does not go to a treatment plant. This runoff drains directly into a local stream. All our local streams in Fairfax County feed into the Potomac River, which empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Nothing is removed from the water. That means pet waste, yard debris, fertilizer, motor oil, pesticides and trash all have the potential to flow into our streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
Our volunteers help to reduce storm drain pollution by labelling drains in our local communities with a placard that reminds people that "Only rain should go down the drain." Volunteers will first meet for project orientation with a Conservation District staff member. They will then secure permissions from the homeowner's or civic association where the project will take place, create a newsletter article or door hanger to inform the community about the connection between storm drains and water pollution, and then label the storm drains in the community.