Caltrans’ Protect Every Drop Stormwater Public Education and Awareness Campaign
In 2016, Caltrans launched a statewide stormwater campaign, Protect Every Drop (PED), to educate Californians about the sources and pathways of stormwater pollution, to reduce the impact on our waterways, and to change polluting behaviors of the motoring public.
The strategy behind this multilingual campaign is to reach the public emotionally by focusing on their love for California waterways and water bodies, and the need to protect them to keep them clean, while also providing them with information on the correct pollution prevention behaviors and solutions. The PED campaign is action-oriented and encourages motorists to consider integrating simple changes into their daily routines to help reduce stormwater pollution. These simple, small changes include maintaining their vehicle, keeping vehicles clean inside and out and properly disposing of trash and recycling. This presentation will engage the audience by discussing their primary pollutants of concern and how PED can help.
To achieve our objectives, the PED public education and awareness campaign incorporated a mix of paid media placements through digital and radio ads, mall posters, billboards, social media and other mediums. The campaign strategy also included statewide public outreach through on-site activation activities like shoreline cleanups, watershed demonstrations, and other community events. We developed vinyl banners, tip card flyers in 7 languages including: English, Spanish, Hmong, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Punjabi and posters to increase the visibility of our message and promote our client’s objectives to the diverse California population.
Building bridges: We crafted a two-tiered partnership strategy to elevate our messages and spread awareness of the campaign and our client’s goals in a cost-effective way. We reached out to other government agencies and nonprofits that share similar goals and objectives and, therefore, created a bridge to join local and statewide campaign efforts. We are now working in coordinated partnership with these organizations for increased exposure and effectiveness.
In order to amplify the campaign messages, our team compiled a robust campaign toolkit for other agencies and partners to adopt and integrate into their own outreach efforts. Our toolkit offers downloadable PDF and JPG files in multiple languages with our campaign messaging and various media tools for our partners to download and use at no cost to them. The toolkit components include infographics, logos, digital banner ads, radio ads, tip cards, posters and more. Caltrans hopes that local governments and other stormwater agencies will adopt the Protect Every Drop campaign and join us to promote the campaign mission and support outreach efforts. Some government agencies, such as the Contra Costa Clean Water Program, have already adopted the Protect Every Drop campaign and have created their own taglines that align with the existing branding of the campaign; and others have taken the PED campaign messages and adjusted them to better align with their agencies programs. For example, some counties are using our specific tarp and secure your load language or properly dispose of trash and recycling because these are the biggest issues they face in their areas.
Caltrans is providing the campaign creative to local and regional agencies at no charge. The campaign was developed with high level and easily customizable messaging to make it easy for stormwater agencies to adopt the campaign for sustainability. The Contra Costa Clean Water Program, for example, is formally adopting the campaign utilizing the tagline “Clean Creeks Start with Clean Streets.” They will put the Protect Every Drop logo on all materials and they will launch a local Protect Every Drop media campaign. Help spread the word, create your own PED tagline, share our social media messages, start utilizing #ProtectEveryDrop, come to our statewide outreach events, and sign and share our pledge.
Ana Serrano is a Senior Transportation Engineer with Department of Transportation for over 17 years. She graduated as a Civil Engineer from California State University Sacramento. While working at Caltrans she has gained experience in Construction, Design, Hydraulics, Traffic Operations, Maintenance and Storm-water. She is currently in the Division of Environmental Analysis Stormwater Program working on several projects and serving as a contract manager on several projects.
Shelley is a specialist in working with water and stormwater related behavior-change programs. She has more than 21 years of environmentally focused experience leading marketing and outreach campaigns, with an extensive background in strategic campaign planning, public relations, brand management, development of collateral materials, media planning, partnership and program building, research and multicultural outreach.
At Sagent, Shelley has led all environmental campaigns since 2010, including Caltrans Protect Every Drop. Previously, she led campaigns for Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, Contra Costa Clean Water Program, Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, San Mateo County Water Pollution Prevention Program, and many others.