Join FoSC to help educate others about storm drain runoff into Sligo Creek

What happens to all the littered beverage containers, miscellaneous trash items, and construction debris in our streets near Sligo Creek when it rains? Where does the soapy water from washing a car in the driveway go? Some people use storm drains as a garbage shoot for all kinds of toxins: from used motor oil and anti-freeze, leftover paint, to kitty litter and dog poop bags. All of it gets washed down directly into the Creek via numerous storm drains built into the sides of the curbs and the debris continues through to the Northwest Branch, Anacostia River, and Chesapeake Bay out to the Atlantic.

You have undoubtedly seen some storm drain openings stenciled with the words "Chesapeake Bay Drainage." The stenciling was done in the past to try and raise awareness about where this storm water goes. Today, the Litter Committee is renewing the effort to help people recognize the direct route that pollutants in our streets take into our water sources. There is no filter, no sewer system to treat or catch this waste. The storm drains are meant only for storm water. Even organic debris, such as grass clippings and brush, can clog the drains and add excess nitrogen into the water, harming aquatic life. Toxic liquids and plastic bags and bottles poison fish and wildlife who drink the water. People eat the fish and ingest the toxins as well. Dogs and children can become sick from frolicking in the Creek. Fresh water is precious, and Maryland and D.C. residents get their drinking water from rivers.

FoSC's Litter Committee is facilitating an updated decal program of storm drains in neighborhood streets along Sligo Creek Park during the warm months. The top of the storm drain surface is prepared and then a decal is glued on. FoSC stewards are working on getting permission from their community associations to do the project. Once approved, they will need to map out the area to be decaled. Montgomery County provides the decals (Takoma Park has a separate program) and also information fliers that need to be distributed door to door (they hook over the door).

The project is best for small groups, as supplies for working on multiple drains at the same time are limited. A few adults can work at a time on the decaling and then it would be great to have scouts or kids distribute the flier meanwhile.

The following stewards are interested in leading the decaling in a neighborhood in their section of Sligo Creek. If you would like to help out, please contact them individually.
Section 4 (Piney Branch to Wayne Ave) Jennifer Kefer E-mail
Section 5 (Wayne to Colesville) Terry Anderson E-mail
Section 6: Ross Campbell (Colesville to Forest Glen) Ross will be working in the North Hills neighborhood.
Section 7 (Forest Glen to Dennis Ave) Wendi Schnaufer E-mail. Wendi and Beth Rowe will be working in the Forest Estates neighborhood.
Section 8 (Dennis Ave. to University) Laura Mol E-mail plans on working in her neighborhood east of the Parkway. Jane Barrett E-mail is working in Wheaton area near University and Inwood.
Section 9 (north of University) Ed Murtagh E-mail
Section 10L (Lower Long Branch) Michael Wilpers E-mail
Section 12 (Wheaton Branch) Mike Smith s planning on working on Bucknell Drive between Reedie and Pritchard. E-mail

If you do not see someone leading it near you and would like to do the project, please e-mail Jane Barrett for more information and assistance.