Keep Liberty Beautiful volunteers has been busy this quarter! We planted over 120 trees around our community for Arbor Day. Fifteen volunteers and several hundred recycle-minded citizens turned in 6,410 pounds of household items and shredded paper to recycle, reuse, or dispose of safely on February 16. Our Adopt Liberty groups are out on the weekends cleaning up the community and so far 20 miles of roadway has been cleaned. We still have more roads to clean and ponds to cleanup in Liberty County.
Our ponds like the ones at Bryant Commons in Hinesville catch a lot of litter and debris flowing in the pond from city storm drains. It takes volunteers to keep the ponds free of cigarette butts, cups, bottles, cans, fast food trash, and other nasty litter that people toss on our sidewalks, and streets and, ultimately, end up on traveling down city storm drains. All of these items are part of a problem called nonpoint source pollution.
Unfortunately, the most significant danger to our local waterways, these “nonpoint sources” (NPS), are challenging to control. What are nonpoint sources of pollution? Nonpoint pollution develops mainly in our own homes and backyards as well as on our roads, businesses, even farms, and in more heavily populated areas. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or irrigation moving over and through the ground. As the water runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into creeks, lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. It is often referred to as stormwater pollution because those little downpours of rain wash the pollution and debris into our groundwater and our waterways. These pollutants include:
* Oil, grease, and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production
* Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream banks
* Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines
* Bacteria and nutrients from animals, pet wastes, and faulty septic systems
* and, of course, litter.
According to the EPA, nonpoint source pollution is the leading remaining cause of water quality problems. Nonpoint pollution is known to have harmful effects on drinking water, wildlife and -- as we are now learning -- our sport and seafood fisheries. As urbanization continues, the effects of nonpoint pollution only worsen---unless we take action to change many of our harmful daily habits and also look for proactive ways –like our Adopt Liberty groups---to create positive change.
There are still plenty of ways that you can be involved in creating positive change in the weeks to come this spring. Several city wide cleanups are scheduled during April, as well as a number of neighborhood and street cleanups. Keep Liberty Beautiful provides all the cleanup supplies (garbage bags, safety vests, work gloves, and even litter reachers), water for these cleanups. Our cities partner with us by providing picnics after the cleanups for volunteers in appreciation of their efforts. We also provide official Great American Cleanup t-shirts for all registered volunteers. To register your group or neighborhood for a cleanup, go online: www.signupgenius.com, Search: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at (912) 880-4888 or email email@example.com. We can all find a way to make our community a healthier, safer and brighter place to live.