Storm drain markers installed for Earth Day
The Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership and member cities of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Stormwater Task Force installed storm drain markers throughout the Valley as part their Earth Day celebrations.
The storm drain markers, reading "No Dumping, Drains to Laguna Madre," will remind citizens not to dump their waste or trash directly into a storm drain or anywhere near storm drains, said Jaime Flores, coordinator for the Arroyo Colorado Watershed Partnership.
"All water that flows into the storm drains ends up in the Laguna Madre and if the water is polluted, it will pollute the Laguna," Flores said.
In a precursor to Earth Day, the city of Mission and its volunteers installed storm drain markers and picked up trash April 4th as part of its 2009 Mission Trash Bash.
On April 17, the city of Pharr Public Works Department and Fire Department and Pharr Elementary School students installed markers near the school. Other festivities included planting grass, flowers, and trees.
Saturday, April 18, the city of San Benito and Girl Scout troops installed markers at the San Benito Municipal Building. The city of San Juan and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School National Honor Society students installed markers near City Hall. The city of La Joya and a La Joya High School science class installed markers at the La Joya Municipal Park.
The city of Weslaco sponsored a "Green Family Festival" April 18th at City Hall. Volunteers installed storm water markers and planted flowers.
On the same day, the city of Harlingen and Harlingen Independent School District students met at the city's new Centennial Park for the marker installation. Information on recycling, water conservation, native plants, composting, and other green living ideas was provided by Harlingen Proud, Valley Proud Environmental Council, Texas Water Development Board, and Harlingen Park and Recreation. During the event, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville's Javelina Express Mobile Go Center, a 42-foot trailer that provides outreach to prospective students, was staffed by the A&M-Kingsville College of Engineering faculty, students, and staff.
The city of Alton and Alton Junior High School students installed markers April 22nd on the school's campus.
More than 1,000 markers will be installed throughout the Lower Rio Grande Valley during these events, and 20,000 will eventually be installed, said Javier Guerrero of Texas A&M University-Kingsville and the task force liaison.
The storm drain marking events are part of the Arroyo Colorado partnership's ongoing efforts to restore and protect the watershed. The partnership and local cities have also installed road signs marking Arroyo Colorado crossings or the boundary of the Arroyo Colorado watershed.
The stormwater task force was organized in 2002 with efforts by Texas A&M University-Kingsville's Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering to assist the cities in putting together a regional stormwater management plan and obtaining storm system permits required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency.