Visit a storm drain on your school grounds. Ask your students if they know where the water goes when it rains. Help them find out. It may drain into a nearby stream or river. Maybe it eventually goes into a lake. Maybe it flows all the way into the ocean. No matter where it goes, it gets there without passing through any water treatment facility. Whatever gets into the storm drain ends up wherever that water goes.


Have your students think about all of the trash that can end up in a storm drain and what kinds of problems that trash could cause wherever it ends up.


Have your students use this tool or cut out pictures of stuff that can end up in rivers and streams or the ocean to design their own garbage grams. Send them to other classrooms or put them all on a wall or bulletin board to get everyone to keep their trash out of Earth's water.


You can choose to focus on ocean garbage or trash that gets into local rivers and streams. If you can identify a particular stream or river, that will make it more personal for your students. Perhaps a river or stream that most of them know about or have visited. Recycle, reuse, and reduce are still the main strategies for protecting the Earth's water from garbage. If we can keep that garbage from going down the storm drains in the first place, then there will be less garbage to clean up in or on the banks of streams, rivers, lakes or the ocean. More about stormwater.


School Storm Drain Stenciling Program Information: