We all live in a watershed, so every time someone learns about "clean water habits" and changes the way they do things, it helps improve our community’s surface water resources (like our creeks, streams and rivers). Every time we prevent pollution in the first place, it saves money and effort. That's why educational and volunteer programs play such an important role in the Clean Water Division.
The Clean Water Division promotes educational partnerships with local groups and agencies, such as the City of Vancouver and Washington State University Extension, to increase public awareness and encourage environmental stewardship to keep dirt and other pollutants out of waterways.
The program also works with individuals, schools, businesses and property owners about how we all can do our part to protect Clark County's water resources for future generations. Remember, "we all live downstream."
Backyard Habitat Certification Program - Transform your yard and create healthier communities, for people and wildlife. Sign up to receive technical assistance tailored to your yard and interests, as well as local garden center and native plant discounts and a yard sign when you achieve certification. Check out the latest report on Clark County residents working toward or attaining certification.
- Green Neighbors program - Tips and ideas that you can implement at home to protect water quality.
- Grasscycling (lawn care) - Learn how to care for your lawn to create a healthy, lush lawn while minimizing impacts to stormwater runoff.
- Natural Gardening - There are lots of ways to care for your yard naturally and protect stormwater. Also review the Department of Ecology link.
- Don't Drip and Drive - Find resources to help you identify leaks and visit auto shops with confidence to get repairs done.
- Disconnect downspouts - Use rainwater as a resource in your yard while preventing excess water washing hard surfaces such as walks, driveways and local roads creating pollution.
- Yard irrigation - Use water wisely when watering your yard. Follow these tips from the Clark Conservation District.
- Fact sheets for easy to follow tips for your home and property.
- Auto care and maintenance
- Don't Drip and Drive (prevent auto leaks)
- Erosion control
- Food waste
- Household hazardous wastes
- Home improvement
- Pet waste
- Pool & spa
- Septic sewer maintenance
- Small Acreage Program, Living on the Land - WSU Clark County Extension - As a small property owner, there are several steps you can take to protect stormwater from pollution.
- Healthy horses, clean water - A brochure from the Clark Conservation District walks you though all the steps to create a healthy home for your horse, while protecting stormwater from pollution.
- Streamside Plantings for Western Washington - A brochure from the Clark Conservation District provides all of the planning, design and installation information you need to add valuable habitat next to your creek or stream.
- Build bat box houses for stormwater - Work with your community group to build bat box houses for county natural area properties and stormwater facilities to attract bats. There are several types of houses to build, including a multi-chambered house.
- Canines for Clean Water - Take the pledge to clean up your pet's waste!
- Natural areas maintenance - If you love your local natural areas, you can help maintain trails, remove invasive plants, or work on special projects.
- Plant neighborhood trees - volunteer with Friends of Trees at a neighborhood planting event. Clark County partnered with Friends of Trees to hold six neighborhood planting events.
- River-friendly car wash - If you are hosting a fundraising car wash, consider using a River-friendly car wash kit to keep soapy, dirty water out of the storm drains. Call us to see if your site is right for using the kit or e-mail our staff.
- Storm drain stenciling and marking - A fun and easy volunteer program to help educate our community about water quality protection.
- Learn more about the fish that rely on our waters - The information in this Puget Sound book applies to us in the Columbia River watershed.
Students with Enviroscape watershed model
Schools and Student projects:
- Explore Your Watershed - this interactive Story Map about Clark County's watersheds is a resource with rich content designed to support a number of classroom topics. Check out the accompanying student activity sheets to help with lessons.
- Washington Green Schools - There are two certifications (School Grounds and Water) that teach about stormwater and its role on school grounds. Visit the Clark County Green Schools and EarthGen (formerly named Washington Green Schools) program pages for more information.
- Need help filling in the Green Schools forms? Use the following pages to help your Green Team move the certification forward!
- Connecting Schools and Families to Healthy Stormwater Actions - Clark County partners with the City of Vancouver to provide educational tools for learning about water quality in our community. Visit the city's web page for more information and tool kits to be used by schools, educators and students.
- Student water quality monitoring - Students take the lead in assessing the watersheds around them.
- Definitions of water quality tests (Northern Kentucky University website)
- City of Vancouver's Student Watershed Monitoring Network program
- SWMN on-line database FieldScope web page
- Enviroscape - We can loan our Enviroscape watershed model to your school to demonstrate how pollution can get into our local waterways. Kit has all of the materials you need. Our staff are also available to come to your classroom for a short demonstration and discussion on watershed health.
- Resources - Native Plant guide poster, Living Streams poster or the Stream Health Report 2010
(CD) (we have these in stock so contact us with how many you need).
- Green Business program - Tools to implement with your business to minimize impacts to the environment. Businesses can also find helpful videos, checklists and information to manage stormwater runoff on Stormwater Partners of SW Washington's website.
- Business brochures - Learn how to keep your business healthy by preventing pollution and saving money.
- Spill Kit Program - Help protect your business from costly clean-up while protecting your employees and customers. Learn why you should have a spill prevention plan, spill clean-up kit and how to clean up a spill when it does happen.
- Carpet cleaning businesses - brochure with tips and reminders to minimize pollution to the storm drain system. The Department of Ecology has a fact sheet.
- Stormwater inlet and facility maintenance - businesses are required to maintain their stormwater features including cleaning and repairing, as needed. Other Washington jurisdictions have prepared videos and tools to illustrate some of the solutions to facility maintenance. For specific Clark County regulations, contact our staff.
Property managers, business owners and HOAs - Visit the Stormwater Partners of SW Washington for helpful videos, checklists and information on managing stormwater runoff and stormwater facilities. Also visit some of the links under the Business section as they may apply to your property, including dumpster maintenance and spill kit program.