The CCCWP via the Public Information and Participation Committee, with assistance from CCCWP staff and consultants, is responsible for overseeing the development of materials and products, information dissemination, marketing and public outreach. Most of the public information and outreach requirements are contained in the current permit Provision C.7; however, additional outreach activities are required or encouraged in other permit provisions.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-2017, the CCCWP PIP Committee took on a major public information and outreach strategic planning effort. CCCWP’s current outreach campaign will be conducted in partnership with Caltrans through its “Protect Every Drop” campaign. The outreach campaign will be publicly launched in FY 17/18 following finalization of the CCCWP Public Information and Outreach Strategic Plan.
CCCWP Permittees conducted several public outreach efforts and citizen involvement events as a group in order to reach a broad spectrum of the community with both general and specific stormwater runoff pollution prevention messages. Several efforts were conducted countywide, and are described below:
- Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour – This public outreach and citizen involvement event promotes the idea of water-saving, pesticide-reduced gardening through planting native species. CCCWP Permittees sponsored the 13th Annual Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour, which took place on Sunday, May 7, 2017, showcasing 40 gardens and 6 native nurseries located in 19 cities and unincorporated areas of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. There were 4,000 registrants to this year’s event and the spring Native Plant Sale Extravaganza sold $32,000 worth of plants. The 2018 garden tour will take place on May 6, 2018.
- Our Water Our World (OWOW) – In Fiscal Year 2016-2017, CCCWP Permittees partnered with the OWOW Program to help raise awareness of the connection between pesticide use and water quality, and to provide information to consumers (at the point of purchase) about IPM and less-toxic alternatives that reduce or eliminate impacts to water quality. Thirty-four stores participated in this public outreach program, with 87 store staff receiving formal trainings, and 65 additional staff trained in-aisle during informal, mentoring visits. Thirteen outreach/tabling events reached over 530 people. Eleven additional outreach/community events reached over 5,550 people.
- Green Business Program – The Green Business Program is a successful partnership of environmental agencies and utilities which assist, recognize, and promote businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. Green Businesses can:
- Reduce waste and utility costs
- Improve systems and equipment performance
- Attract environmentally conscious customers
- Demonstrate community good will
- Establish good relationships with regulators
- Provide a safer workplace
- Motivate and recognize employees’ environmental efforts
- Mr. Funnelhead - Matt Bolender is CCCWP’s OPP Grant consultant, using the Mr. Funnelhead character to provide educational outreach. Now in its 21st year, the Mr. Funnelhead School Education Program visited 16 schools educating 4,990 students about the importance of used oil and filter recycling in Fiscal Year 2016-2017. These appearances continue to have a long-lasting effect on the children who recount their experience years later when they see Mr. Funnelhead at community events. The Mr. Funnelhead School education program continues to be the heart of the Used Oil Education Project.
- Mr. Funnelhead Annual Art Contest - Mr. Funnelhead also holds an annual art contest where children incorporate Mr. Funnelhead into their own message about recycling used oil. To see this year’s contest winners and their artwork, visit http://www.funnelhead.com. Prizes are given to the top three artists.
In addition to school education events, new “Oil Busters” PSAs were also created starring both characters from the school education shows and the winners from the Mr. Funnelhead Annual Art Contest. These PSAs were aired on Comcast Cable Spotlight Channels such as Nickelodeon, TBS, AMC, Cartoon Network and others. To view one of these PSAs, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkXcDEN6uyY.
- CCCWP Watershed Diorama - The CCCWP’s Watershed Diorama is provided to, and used by, Permittees and stakeholder organizations for youth-education programs and various public outreach events. The Watershed Diorama is a hands-on model which shows how rain becomes stormwater runoff carrying dirt, garbage, and other pollutants found in the urban environment into storm drains, which flow untreated to local creeks, the Delta, and the Bay.