Public Education and Outreach

Goals of Public Education and Outreach

Target Audiences

Public education and outreach is a key component of proper stormwater management in West Plains, as well as in meeting the Stormwater Phase II requirements. Without a public knowledgeable about local water problems caused by urban runoff, it is difficult to obtain public support for local stormwater programs.
  • To improve understanding of the reason why stormwater quantity and quality programs exist. Public understanding of local impacts is particularly important for municipal funding initiatives for the program or seeking volunteers to help implement programs. 
  • To improve compliance with the programs as the public becomes aware of community and individual responsibilities expected and required in order to protect or improve the stormwater runoff from the community.
For the purpose of developing public education and outreach activities, the following sectors have been identified within the City of West Plains:
  • Residential community
  • Commercial / Business
  • Industrial
  • Development community
  • Construction
West Plains will tailor education and outreach efforts to address the runoff issues and concerns most closely associated with each target audience. A variety of contact methods also will be used to reach the maximum number of people possible. In general terms the priority messages are:
  • Careless or improper handling and storage of many materials and waste products can result in pollutants entering local water bodies or natural areas and degrading water quality.
  • These discharges can affect wildlife, water quality, health, and eventually damage the quality of life in the City.
  • Reduction of pollutants is a responsibility of the community as a whole, and can be achieved easily.
  • The conveyance of stormwater is the major function of our Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4), (including open space drainage ways).
  • The fluctuation of water levels within stormwater facilities is a natural and foreseen occurrence, as is the need for routine maintenance of these pipes, inlets and outlets, streams, channels and ponds.
West Plains will work with other local and regional stormwater programs to investigate the ability to cooperatively produce and distribute educational materials, access audiences through the use of mass media, and include stormwater education activities in appropriate public events.