Stormwater Education Information & Resources

Stormwater Education Information & Resources

[Thanks to Linda Domizio, Massachusetts DEP, for compiling the information for this webpage.]

EPA Getting in Step Manual and Video

EPA has announced a set of valuable resources designed to assist local governments, watershed groups, watershed management agencies, and others to plan and conduct effective watershed outreach campaigns:

Getting in Step–A Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns (Publication # EPA 841-B-03-002, 3.3 MB pdf file), and
Getting in Step–A Video Guide for Conducting Watershed Outreach Campaigns (Publication # EPA 841-V-03-001)

These two companion guides offer advice on how to effectively raise citizen awareness of nonpoint source pollution and to motivate individual behavior change to develop more water-friendly habits and practices that will lead to cleaner waters for your community and our nation.

The 100-page book, plus appendices, expands upon a 1998 publication by the Council of State Governments and includes new information from the growing field of community-based social marketing. The book is intended as a reference that pulls together principles, techniques, and information for effective watershed outreach into a single, user-friendly source. The 35-minute video reinforces the six-step process outlined in the book, and showcases four successful outreach programs from around the United States.

For a free copy of this guide and its companion video, please contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications via phone at 1-800-490-9198 (from outside the U.S., call 1-513-489-8190) or via the Web at The book is also available as a PDF download at the link above.

EPA “After the Storm” Video

After the Storm — This half-hour TV special on the impact of stormwater pollution has aired on the Weather Channel. EPA and the Weather Channel co-produced this documentary to raise citizen awareness about watersheds and the variety of problems impacting them, particularly those caused by polluted stormwater runoff. Visit for more information and to order a free copy of the “After the Storm” brochure.

Copies of “After the Storm” are now available on VHS tape and can be used by state and local governments and nonprofit or citizen organizations for educational purposes. Phase II MS4 communities are encouraged to integrate showings of “After the Storm” into their education and outreach campaigns. To order a copy, please contact EPA’s National Service Center for Environmental Publications at 1-800-490-9198 or send an email to After the Storm – VHS – EPA 840-V-04-001. Please request “After the Storm – VHS” – EPA 840-V-04-001.

Center for Watershed Protection Articles

The (Center for Watershed Protection) has published 150 technical articles in the Center’s technical journal, Watershed Protection Techniques. Two of these deal with watershed education.

Article 126: Understanding Watershed Behavior
This article, from the Center for Watershed Protection (CWP) summarizes the results of over twenty surveys of suburban and rural residents regarding behaviors that can affect water quality, including lawn fertilization, pesticide application, dog walking, septic cleaning, car washing, and fluid changing. These surveys provide data regarding typical practices in each of these categories (e.g., percentage of residents using insecticides, average frequency of fertilizer application, etc.) and provide some insight into common thinking around each of these behaviors. The article makes some suggestions for simple messages that could be put forth regarding environmentally sound practices in each of these categories, with the overall goal of creating a new “watershed ethic.”
see CWP article 126

Article 127: On Watershed Education
This article, from the Center for Watershed Protection, follows up the information in “Understanding Watershed Behavior” by outlining the challenges involved in trying to change public attitudes and behavior, profiling research on effective outreach techniques, and making recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of watershed education programs.
see CWP article 127

Los Angeles County DPW Web Site

The Los Angeles County (CA) Department of Public Works has launched a Stormwater Public Education Program to educate the public about what they can do to prevent pollution and keep local waterways clean. The program uses a variety of different outreach efforts to help remind people what happens when they don’t think about the effect they have on the environment. Current program outreach activities include paid advertising, community pilot programs, media relations and corporate partnerships. In addition, the program provides technical assistance to the County’s incorporated cities to help promote cohesive pollution prevention efforts throughout the region.

More information is available on the LADPW stormwater website: Los Angeles County DPW Web Site

In addition to downloadable radio, TV, print, and billboard ads and an interactive “Polluter Behavior Quiz,” there are reports (1997 and 2002) that provide useful information about the education program.

Other Web addresses for Public Education

U.S EPA Office of Ground water and Drinking water Kids Stuff

U.S EPA Office of Ground water and Drinking water kid games

U.S. EPA, Do’s and Don’ts Around the House

U.S. EPA Watershed Outreach

Puget Sound Water Quality Education Materials

American Oceans Campaign, Stormwater Resources

San Diego’s Think Blue Stormwater Campaign

U.S. EPA Watershed Curriculum for Teachers and Students