In August, Nona Brew Crew completed our second quarterly volunteer event in partnership with Keep Orlando Beautiful (KOB) and the City of Orlando. The event was held at Canvas Restaurant and was part of an educational series hosted by KOB’s Coordinator, Jody Buyas. Jody provided insights about the stormwater drainage process, the pollution cycle and the long term effects of stormwater pollution.
As Laureate Park continues to grow with residents and businesses, Nona Brew Crew is looking for effective approaches to reduce pollution and enhance our community and environment. Our first step was to adopt Tavistock Blvd through KOB. We will also maintain other Laureate Park streets and lakes. Nona Brew Crew has partnered with the City of Orlando’s Stormwater Compliance Program Manager to address construction debris along the white shell path behind Reymont and will continue to address other construction debris as needed.
The first neighborhood volunteer event was held this past March. Over two dozen volunteers turned out to cleanup a total of 55 bags of pollution within two hours. We found everything from a checkbook to a 40-foot roll of barbed wire, and an excessive number of plastic bags. When Jody talked to us about our cleanup, she pointed out that, “Usually, people immediately think about grabbing the big pieces of trash, but the little stuff, like candy wrappers and cigarette butts are just as harmful, and often go unnoticed.”
As the weather cools down in the fall, the Nona Brew Crew will organize another neighborhood cleanup event, so stay tuned!
The second initiative for Nona Brew Crew is to bring awareness to stormwater pollution and the impact it has on our greater environment. When rain falls and doesn’t absorb into the ground, it becomes stormwater runoff. This runoff carries pollution down the drains to area lakes, wetlands and other open bodies of water. Did you know there are a total of 123 lakes in the City of Orlando? Pollution in our local waterways eventually feeds into the intercostal water channels, including the St. John’s River.
Pollution down storm drains not only includes trash, but fertilizers, oil, sediment and other forms of blockage, such as mulch. During our August meeting, Jody brought up what KOB calls, “poo-lution.” While natural, even our pet’s waste can become absorbed into our water and have a negative impact. All these forms of pollution cause oxygen levels to deplete and alters the pH levels in the water, which creates toxic conditions for fish and wildlife.
The City’s goal is to prevent pollution from going down the drains through education and volunteer efforts. Greater awareness leads to a bigger impact on maintaining aquatic life and preserving area lakes and waterways for their recreational and economic value.
Last month, Nona Brew Crew applied over 75 stormwater prevention concrete stickers along Tavistock Blvd. If you’re not familiar with stormwater drain signage, they can be found around most cities with bodies of water including Orlando, Washington D.C. and more. The latest trend is creating storm drain artwork that not only educates but is beautiful to look at, too. Artwork like this is growing in popularity in the Mills 50 area. The goal of the signs and artwork is to help draw attention, provide awareness and reduce pollution down the drain. Look for our concrete stickers around the neighborhood!
To report stormwater pollution, any resident can contact the Nona Brew Crew, call the Stormwater Hotline at 407-246-2370, visit www.cityoforlando.net/stormwater or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the address of violation, date, time and a brief description. Problems to report include: household hazardous waste, yard clippings/waste, pet waste, fertilizers, pesticides, soil/sediment erosion, car wash detergents and liter.
Remember―only rain down the drain and stop the poo-llution.