When the monsoons hit us  in Tucson, Arizona, let the show begin. Lightening takes your breath away, thunder makes you jump out of your seat, and skies seem to burst bringing the much needed rain. As welcome as they are,  the torrential rain storms sometimes cause our yards and streets to flood – almost in the blink of an eye. With a seemingly clear destination in mind, the rushing water finds its way to the storm drains and eventually ends up in our washes. Obviously, some nasty things can get caught up in its forceful path. Snatching up debris, trash, and residue from oil leaks on its journey, the water is likely to be quite unhealthy before it enters a wash.

Clean water starts with meYou may think that it’s a simple matter of nature taking its course but I invite you to think again. One regional agency is working to educate and encourage people to help prevent stormwater pollution and help turn unhealthy washes into healthy ones! Pima Association of Governments’ (PAG) annual Clean Water Starts With Me campaign works tirelessly to spread the word about things you can do to keep our washes clean and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy environment for us, for our children and our future!

So where do you start?  Here are some simple tips:

1.  Teach your children good habits, such as remembering to never liter and to recycle what you can.

2. Plan a family visit to a library to expose them to Pima County’s outreach materials EcoNooks and Eco-Kids Corners.  There are fun activities like crossword puzzles and coloring sheets that help children learn about the cycle water.

3. Plan to attend events such as Earth Day as a family. Have some fun with them participating in PAG’s fishing-for-trash games & watch them fish trash out of a make-believe wash habitat.

4. Added bonus for those who take the time to read this informative blog?  Stay right at home and download these two fun, family activities:

More good news!  PAG established an exciting new partnership this year with Arizona Project WET (APW). Through this project,  children throughout the community will learn more about our watershed and the water cycle. APW, which has expertise at understanding how children learn, is an Arizona Cooperative Extension program managed by the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center. Arizona Project Wet starts with teacher training and ends with student festivals with hands-on activities on the importance of keeping water clean. Visit APW for more information.

It’s really important to remember that by working together, we can all learn how to help keep our neighborhoods healthy by keeping stormwater pollutants out of washes. You can learn more at the Clean Water Starts With Me Facebook page or visit PAGstorm.

Take the clean water survey! Spend a few brief minutes telling PAG what you know about stormwater pollution and the importance of clean water.