Three Times the Charm: Storm Water Services Receives Top Honors

Sharnelle Currence, Leo Caplanides
Sharnelle.Currence@CharlotteNC.gov, Leo.Caplanides@CharlotteNC.gov
12/21/2020
Pam giving 2 thumbs up

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services has received national recognition and will have to make room for three trophies this year. The National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) has recognized Storm Water Services as winners in its Excellence in Communications Awards and Stormwater Management Green Infrastructure Awards Program. Storm Water Services won top overall for the highest average ranking of all Excellence in Communications submittals for large municipalities for the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” flood safety educational campaign, first place in the Improving Water Quality category for the “Scoop the Poop” flagging educational campaign and first place in the Green Infrastructure Awards for the Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Project.


NAFSMA is an organization of public agencies whose function is the protection of lives, property and economic activity from the adverse impacts of storm and flood waters. The awards program was designed to highlight successful initiatives addressing flood awareness and surface water quality throughout the nation that can serve as examples to other water resource agencies and local and regional governments. Storm Water Services works year-round to implement innovative programs to help manage the runoff from rainfall, reduce the risk of flooding, restore floodplains and protect the water quality of surface waters county-wide and is pleased to be recognized.


With its vital flood related messaging, the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” communicated critical safety information through a multimedia campaign that featured social media videos, online ads and weather alerts. Videos were produced featuring an overzealous driving instructor named Pam teaching her students the importance of "Turning Around" when approaching floodwaters; one of these videos garnered over 50,000 views in only one month.


Storm Water Services tackled the not so glamourous topic of pet waste in an effort to improve water quality. The unique and visually intriguing “Scoop the Poop” flagging campaign placed flags on discarded piles of pet waste. Marked with messages like “May contain diseases and parasites – Scoop it, bag it, trash it”; flags served to bring awareness to the environmental and health risks resulting from improper disposal of pet waste. Pet waste flagging activities were combined with social media and online outreach, local news stories and events that reached pet owners.


The Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Project is the largest stream restoration green infrastructure project completed to date by Storm Water Services. The project resulted in more than 26,000 feet of stream restoration, 15,000 feet of stream preservation and enhancement, 4 acres of wetland enhancement and protection. The project improved the aesthetics, habitat, biodiversity, and water quality of the creek along the well-utilized walking trails of the Reedy Creek Nature Preserve. 


Storm Water Services is honored to be nationally recognized and will continue its efforts to manage runoff, reduce the risk of flooding and protect water quality.


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