Science Communication in 2023Wednesday, January 11, 2023
Science Communication in 2023
By: Chris Bobryk
CRWC introduces new translated Flyers and a Science Podcast
Science communication is at the helm of CRWC’s mission. Engaging with the public, decision makers, corporations, and natural resource practitioners is what we love to do, and it drives our work for helping protect, enhance, and celebrate the Clinton River, its tributaries, and Lake St. Clair for everyone to enjoy. One of our organizational goals this new year is to broaden the scale of our environmental literacy programs by providing a greater diversity of content so that we can reach deeper into the hearts and minds of the 1.5 million residents of the watershed.
CRWC is excited to present two new public engagement projects: Translated flyers and a podcast.
In 2021, the Clinton River Watershed Council was granted EGLE Nonpoint Source Program funding to develop and distribute 30 educational flyers targeting underserved populations within our watershed. These flyers cover topics such as the relationship between land use and water quality, how to choose a watershed-friendly landscaper, and common invasive species, to name a few. The overall theme, however, is stormwater pollution.
When rain falls or snow melts, that water runs off impervious surfaces such as roads or parking lots and carries with it all kinds of different pollutants. In a densely populated watershed like the Clinton, Stormwater pollution is the greatest threat that we face today, especially within a densely populated watershed like the Clinton.
These flyers were edited and created with accessibility as a priority, with high contrast colors, simplified vocabulary, as well as universal symbols and icons used whenever possible. These flyers were translated into Spanish and Arabic, the two most spoken languages in our watershed after English. 20,000 copies are being distributed to 64 communities and schools throughout the watershed, along with acrylic displays. All flyers will also be available on the crwc.org website and will be distributed via listserv to communities participating in CRWC’s Stormwater Education Program throughout the next year. Check them out at www.crwc.org/resources/resource-library in the Homeowner Resources and MS4 Permittees tabs.
Podcast – Follow the Drop
Our first podcast series is about rain gardens and other nature-based solutions to managing stormwater runoff. This first episode 1 was an opportunity to catch up with Rebekah Randle, a resident of the City of Berkley, about building a rain garden. Rebekah was the first graduate of the 2022 virtual Master Rain Gardener Course.
In 2022, CRWC joined forces with Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Office and several Southeast Michigan watershed organizations (Friends of the Rouge, Friends of the Detroit, Huron River, and River Raisin) to host a publicly available online Master Rain Gardener Course. The class was fun, informative, inspiring, and a wonderful example of a region coming together around common goals – to improve water quality, increase biodiversity, and simply to have fun with native plants. 2023 registration is now open at secure.qgiv.com/for/friothrou/event/855754/.
We had over 60 participants, 13 of whom resided within the Clinton River Watershed. Rebekah shared insights about the tools used from the course that helped move from planning to construction of a rain garden in her backyard property. Check out a few before/after photos, plus some sketches and planting plans for Rebekah's rain garden below! Listen to the podcast at www.spreaker.com/user/16890457/residential-rain-gardens