A few years back, we noted in Stormwater magazine that EPA’s Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox was available and highlighted some of the material contained there. It’s essentially a collection of public outreach materials—including media campaigns for print, television, and radio—that have already been created by and for local stormwater programs and that are available for other programs to use. Public outreach is one requirement of the Phase II permit that’s sometimes given lower priority and can be difficult to meet, but fortunately it’s also one that lends itself easily to shared materials and building on ideas that have worked elsewhere.
The Toolbox is still there—and EPA has just announced an upgraded version with a new search function to help you find what you’re looking for, or just to let you browse ideas that might best serve your stormwater program. In addition to television and radio spots, the Toolbox contains logos, slogans, and mascots; samples of (and results from) various public opinion and public perception surveys dealing with stormwater issues; and other materials. You can also submit materials you have created for your program so that others can use them.
You can search by state to find items created close to you—which may have the greatest relevance for your program—or by topic, such as general stormwater awareness, lawn and garden, pets, motor vehicles, household chemicals and waste, and septic systems. You can find the new version online at www.epa.gov/nps/toolbox/.