The Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program is seeking volunteers to participate in the “Make Your Mark” storm drain marking program.


“The Make Your Mark project is an effort to engage local business owners and citizens to increase awareness of what storm drains are, how they function, and why only rainwater needs to go down the drains,” officials said in a news release from the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service.


“Storm drains that are meant to drain water off of roads and parking lots, can also serve as a pathway for pollutants to empty directly into nearby waterways. Common items and substances, like discarded trash, excessive fertilizer, soil from yards and construction sites, and automotive fluids can be harmful to aquatic life and residents who recreate in local waters,” according to the release.


“After heavy rains, stormwater drains off of streets and parking lots, picking up leaves, grass clippings, oil, pesticides, and litter along the way. Not only can these substances degrade water quality, but they can also clog storm drain inlets and pipes and cause flooding,” according to the release.


Several thousand storm drains are located in Pine Bluff. To help protect water quality and prevent flooding, the Southeast Arkansas Stormwater Education Program is working with leaders in Pine Bluff, White Hall, Jefferson County and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to conduct the Make Your Mark program.


To participate in the program, groups or individuals should contact the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-534-1033 or jhpennington@uaex.edu.


The Extension service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture which offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without discrimination.


— John Pennington is an Extension urban stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture in Jefferson County.