Clean storm water starts with me and you and with our families and our neighbors. You get the picture.

From where I sit, every city, town & community on the planet  has to deal with storm water runoff when the downpours start.  In Tucson, we call it  the Monsoon – a season of blessings (rain) and challenges (flooding, downed electrical lines etc.) So for me it  comes down  to:  What can I do about storm water and why should I care?

Pima Association of Governments (PAG) works diligently  every year in partnership with its Storm Water Management Working Group to get you accurate information and doable solutions through their Clean Water Starts With Me campaign. The program helps to emphasize the importance of protecting desert washes & connecting the big green dots among various pollution efforts such as proper disposal of chemicals (I care about that!), cleaning up liter (we should ALL care about that) and reporting illegal dumping (if I saw it, I would report it.)

Here are three good reasons why you should care about clean storm water & healthy washes:

1. If hazardous waste (products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients) ends up in washes instead of being recycled, it creates a toxic impact that is a health hazard to us, and to our animals and plants. It’s a win-win-win to protect our storm water by properly disposing hazardous waste. Anything that  is not stored correctly, disposed of safely, or that is dumped on the ground or poured into a storm drain, ends up flowing with stormwater directly in to desert washes without getting purified at any treatment plant.

2. Littering is, plain and simple, awful, unnecessary and ugly.  Would anyone ever even think about dropping their garbage in the middle of their living room or bedroom?  Not likely.  To me, littering is the same as consciously polluting the living room floor of something we call Earth.

3. Washes are particularly important to wildlife. The critters rely on the washes as pathways for moving through the metro area in Tucson and Pima County. In addition,  the health of  the region’s birds and other indigenous creatures rests, to a great extent, on the health of our washes.

The call to action? Become a part of the Clean Water Starts With Me campaign by joining  its Facebook page & sharing it with friends.  It’s an easy way to  learn the simple steps you can take to help ensure the safety and well-being of our fragile desert environment. Okay. Now let it rain!