Young Voices Connecting the Dots for Improved Water Quality from Schools to Shining Sea
The purpose of this presentation is to provide a platform for young voices to demonstrate how they have improved water quality at their school sites and to show how municipalities, agencies and others can collaborate with schools to achieve quantifiable improvements in water quality.
In 2016 CASQA recognized the Encinitas Union School District’s exemplary SWPPP Internship Program, which is currently in its 4thyear and has “hired” over 500 students. This program has proven to engage students, schools and communities in a deeper understanding of California’s need to manage stormwater and participate in the effort to protect water quality and restore our waterways. During this year long program, through the development of a school site SWPPP, student interns: learn about stormwater, conduct research, collect site-specific data, design and implement BMPs, and finally present the completed plan to the school, district, and greater community at the conclusion of the year-long program. To date, SWPPP interns have presented to over 8,000 individuals. Their most recent industry related presentation was to the State Water Board in Sacramento.
Last year interns completed the arc of development for six structural BMPs. The projects were included in a $720,000 grant awarded by the California State Water Board, through a DROPS Grant. The interns will present on three major structural projects: La Costa Heights - Capture and treat or infiltrate stormwater runoff from a drainage area of 47,000 sq ft by constructing BMP strategies. MissionEstancia-Captureandtreatorinfiltratestormwaterrunofffrom 51,800 sq ft asphalt playground area. Olivenhain Pioneer -Capture and treat stormwater runoff fromtheparkinglotincluding the installation of 640sq ftofperviouspavingand2raingardens.
The interns will discuss how they were involved in each step of the project. They worked with the civil engineer to prepare the working drawings. The survey crew came during the SWPPP Internship staff meeting and the interns were able to use the equipment and see how a topographic plan is created. They sat down with the landscape architect and selected the drought resistant plant pallet. They conducted the walk through with the contractors and opened the bids when they were submitted. Then, during the construction, they met with construction supervisor and walked through the job site to verify work was meeting their specifications.
After a review of the projects and intern involvement, the communication efforts will be discussed. How the interns designed signage, conducted ground breaking events, even achieved front page media coverage. These projects reached out beyond the school community and engaged the entire community.
The interns will implore the audience to think how they can involve students in the stormwater work they do. Why not, as part of the bid package have the survey crew make a presentation to a school near the project site? Have an engineer meet with students and explain a structural BMP construction project. Invite a group of students onto a construction site to see the process first hand. We have learned this experience is just as rewarding for the students as it is for the professionals involved in meeting with the students.
This presentation will highlight one of the important, and often overlooked, dots - students. They can help connect in a powerful way to the school community and beyond. In CASQA’s Strategic Vision to engage the public, these young voices will demonstrate how this can be achieved, and how powerful these efforts will resonate.
Bill’s experience in the environmental field. Recycling Director, to implement residential and commercial recycling programs. Environmental Compliance Director, wrote and maintained SWPPP documentation, at eight locations. Bill was Managing Director for the non-profit Solana Center. BCK Programs is currently working with the Encinitas School District on the SWPPP Internship Program that Bill created. BCK Programs has contracts to create and manage environmental education programs for the City of Carlsbad, San Dieguito High School District, City of Escondido and City of Encinitas. Bill’s programs have received statewide awards for innovation.