Stormwater

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FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is the water that originated from rain. Stormwater that does not soak into the ground becomes surface runoff. Surface runoff flows into surface waterways or storm drains which eventually discharge into surface waters.

What is Stormwater Pollution?

As stormwater flows over the land, it can pick up pollutants such as debris, chemicals, dirt and any other pollutants it encounters. This water then flows into a storm drain, wetland, lake, river, stream or coastal water. All water that enters a storm drain is untreated and then drains into our waters. This is the same water we use for swimming, fishing and drinking.  

The video below, created by Payton Vidrine of LaGrange High School (teacher: Kimberly Jacks), is the first-place, overall division winner for the second annual “Environmental Awareness Commercial Contest,”which is sponsored by the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana Environmental Affairs Committee and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. Congratulations to Payton!

 

  

 

What are the Effects of Pollution?

Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people.

 

 Image result for what ends up in Stormwater Runoff pollution

What's In Stormwater Runoff?

Sediment: Excessive sediment or soil can cause the storm drains to clog which can lead to flooding. When sediment is deposited in lakes and streams, it can negatively affect the water quality and aquatic habitat.

Excess nutrients: Often called nutrient pollution, it refers to pollution caused by excessive input of nutrients. The extra nutrients, usually phosphorus or nitrogen, cause a bloom or increase the growth of algae. When too much algae grows, it can cause other plants to die and disturb the natural eco balance making it hard for fish and insects to survive. When this happens, it is referred to as a dead area.

Bacteria and other pathogens: All sorts of bacteria and pathogens can be washed into our waters. Many of these bacteria and pathogens cause illness if we swallow the water or it comes in contact with an open wound. This is often the reason beaches are closed.

Debris: Trash could be any kind of trash, from plastic bags, to cans, bottles, or cigarette butts. When trash washes into our water bodies it become detrimental to aquatic life.

Household hazardous wastes:
Oil, antifreeze, pesticides, detergents, paints, fertilizer and many other pollutants can get washed from yards, driveways, parking lots and streets. These pollutants can harm and even kill aquatic life. It can be harmful to us if we eat fish, shrimp or crawfish that have been exposed to these pollutants.

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2018 Environmental Awareness Poster Contest Winners

 Six Southwest Louisiana students have been named Stormwater Pollution Division winners in the “Environmental Awareness Poster Contest,” sponsored by the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana Environmental Affairs Committee and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.

Awards were given to the top three winners in the Grades 6-8 and Grades 3-5 divisions.

Winners in the Grades 6-8 Division and their posters:

First place:  Haily Arabie, seventh grade, St. Margaret Catholic School, Mrs. Judy Reeves class:

first place grades 6-8 

“If everyone would put their litter in the trash bin it would greatly benefit our environment. I encourage the people of Louisiana to do their part," Arabie said. "Be the difference by not littering. Also, recycling is a great way to help the environment.”

Second place: Onna Johnson, eighth grade, Lake Charles Charter Academy, Ms. Layton’s class:

“Our coastal loss is causing us to sink. Louisiana is no longer a boot," Johnson said. "The loss of our coast will cause Louisiana to lose valuable land for housing, farming, constructing, and more. In a few years we could end up halfway underwater. We need to restore our coast. I will help restore our coast by getting the message out to the world to help get volunteers.”

 

Third place: Crysten Simien, eighth grade, Lake Charles Charter Academy, Ms. Layton’s class: 

3rd place grades 6-8

“The topic of stormwater pollution impacts our environment and Louisiana because the pollution causes our marine life to be in much harm. I will make sure that the beaches are clean by going to pick up trash routinely," Simien said.

 

Winners in the Grades 3-5 Division and their posters:

First place:  Tobin Pullin, fourth grade, West Leesville Elementary, Mrs. Millie Ballagh's class:

“Preventing stormwater pollution is important in Louisiana because the water table is very close to the surface," Pullin said. "Anything that causes surface pollution could get into our ground water. I plan to make flyers educating my neighbors about preventing stormwater pollution. I also plan to change some of my habits at home like picking up pet waste and going to the car wash to help prevent storm water pollution in my neighborhood.”

 

Second place: Isabella Bryant, fourth grade, Cypress Cove Elementary. Mrs. Parker’s class:

Second place grades 3-5

“Many people may not think that littering affects the environment but it does. Littering has an extremely negative impact on the environment," Bryant said. "Littering tends to damage areas where we live, work, and where kids play. Littering causes a threat to our health and causes harmful germs and bacteria. Above all, littering has a negative effect on everything. I will pick up trash and spread the word that littering is slowly killing the earth...”

 

Third place, Grades 3-5: Brycen Dowden, third grade, West Leesville Elementary, Mrs. Millie Ballagh’s class:

 

“Polluted stormwater runoff is the leading cause of economic and environmental damage in Louisiana," Dowden said.  "As storm water runoff flows over surface land, it often picks up pollutants and debris. Using a planner box can help absorb some of the water, and collect and treat the storm water using a bio-retention system that collects and filters storm water through layers of mulch, soil and plant root systems. The treated stormwater can be infiltrated into the ground as groundwater...”

 2018 Environmental Awareness Poster Contest Winner

The video below, created by Payton Vidrine of LaGrange High School (teacher: Kimberly Jacks), is the first-place, overall division winner for the second annual “Environmental Awareness Commercial Contest,”which is sponsored by the Chamber of Southwest Louisiana Environmental Affairs Committee and the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. Congratulations to Payton!