The University Record, November 12, 1997

Students launch stenciling project to save Huron River

Students from the Bursley Residence Hall Community Volunteers program stenciled "Dump No Waste-Keep Our Michigan Waters Blue" onto curbs near Bursley, Baits and Northwood housing as part of the group's effort to reduce illegal dumping of waste into storm drains. Photo by Paul Jaronski, Photo Services

By Beth Hall
Occupational Safety and Environmental Health

On Nov. 2, a group of students spent a cold, gloomy day stenciling a message next to storm water drains on North Campus to help educate people about the need to protect the Huron River from pollutants in campus storm water runoff. The message advises people not to dump waste into the storm water system. They concentrated on the parking lots near Bursley, Baits and Northwood housing. Similar projects have been used successfully across the country to remind citizens that storm systems empty directly into rivers and lakes.

The Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health (OSEH) provided the students with direction and guidance, as well as the needed supplies for stenciling the message "Dump No Waste-Keep Our Michigan Waters Blue" onto curbs adjacent to drains where people may illegally dump waste. The storm water system flows directly to the Huron River, so anything placed in the drain will end up there without being treated first.

"This is an excellent way for students to become involved with environmental issues on campus," says Terry Alexander, environmental programs manager for OSEH. "We hope that more students will be interested and that we'll be able to launch an even larger effort in the spring."

OSEH is also working with the School of Natural Resources and Environment to develop a storm water education project aimed at faculty, staff, students and visitors that can be implemented in phases over the next year. It will use various media to get the message out to the campus community.

If you are interested in becoming involved in the storm water stenciling project or have questions about the University's pollution prevention programs, call OSEH, 647-1143.