With all the snow on the ground, it's hard to think about spring, but we can't help it! We are so excited for the upcoming launch of a new program to Anoka County: Adopt-a-Drain! This program is empowering communities across the entire seven-county metro to protect their lakes, streams, and rivers by keeping vital storm drains clear of debris.
When the snow melts or when it rains, that water flows untreated into storm drains and straight into our lakes, rivers, and streams, taking with it any dirt and debris in its path. This polluted water, called stormwater runoff, harms wildlife habitat and hinders our recreational enjoyment of the Rum River, Coon Creek, the Mississippi River, and other waters across the county. With thousands of storm drains throughout Anoka County, residents can be partners in our efforts to protect clean water by volunteering to keep drains in their neighborhood clean.
Since many cities only sweep their streets in the fall and spring, common sources of pollution like leaves, grass clippings, dirt, litter, and road salt enter storm drains all year long. This pollution leads to potentially dangerous algal blooms and toxic conditions for fish, birds, insects, and aquatic plants. Storm drains are the link from our neighborhood streets to our local waters, so it's important to keep them clean year-round. By adopting the storm drains near your home, you can make a difference in keeping pollution out of your local lake or stream throughout the year.
The Adopt-a-Drain program is among the largest such efforts in the country and is organized by the Watershed Partners, watersheds, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, partnering cities, and other organizations that work together to educate others about water quality issues in their areas.
When residents sign up for the program, they'll receive an email with instructions on how to safely clear storm drains, dispose of the debris, and report the amount of debris they collect. Throughout the year, participants will receive a few friendly reminder emails and an annual report on local and metro-wide accomplishments to see the cumulative difference we are making together! To date, nearly five thousand residents in the metro have signed up to clean drains in their area. Collectively, these drain adopters have kept hundreds of pounds of pollution from entering local lakes and rivers. Will you be the next to join this growing movement?
Sign-up to be alerted when Adopt-a-Drain launches in your area. We look forward to partnering with you on protecting your local lake, river, or stream from pollution. Together, we can make a difference in improving the quality of water and quality of life in our communities.