October 9, 2012 News

White River Watershed Alliance receive highest honor for environmental achievements


The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Outreach and Education was presented to the Upper White River Watershed Alliance (UWRWA) to honor their extraordinary efforts for environmental public education and outreach. This prestigious award recognizes the UWRWA Clear Choices program which empowers Hoosiers to make personal, every day choices that result in cleaner, safer water. Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Commissioner Thomas Easterly presented the award to UWRWA Coordinator Jill Hoffmann, Tuesday October 3 during the 20th Annual Conference of the Association of Indiana Solid Waste Management Districts.

The UWRWA’s Clear Choices Clean Water campaign is an ongoing pledge based social marketing campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the impact individuals have on the quality of local waters. The UWRWA Clear Choices Clean Water campaign has already resulted in the prevention of 6.9 million gallons of untreated wastewater from reaching our streams and lakes each year through increased septic system maintenance. Likewise, individual residential pledges related to phosphorus-free lawn fertilizers, native plants and pet waste have led to the prevention of 113,440 pounds of the nutrient phosphorus from entering our waters. Preventing this amount of phosphorus subsequently prevents the production of over 51.5 million pounds of algae in our lakes and rivers.

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence recognizes Indiana’s leaders who have identified and implemented innovative environmental practices into their programs and facilities. The awards program celebrates efforts that implement exemplary environmental projects with measurable results.

“Improving the environment involves local innovation, enthusiasm and a commitment to change,” said Easterly. “The extraordinary achievements of these organizations benefit our communities and our environment.”

The Governor’s Award recognizes the positive, cumulative impact that numerous individual actions such as Clear Choices pledges can have on protecting and improving local, regional and national water quality. Clear Choices Clean Water pledges can be made to pick up pet waste, maintain septic systems, use phosphorus free fertilizers, and plant native plants as part of local landscapes at www.ClearChoicesCleanWater.org.

The online pledge system is supported by dozens of resources on the interactive website (www.ClearChoicesCleanWater.org) as well as Facebook promotions and the use of traditional promotional postcards, radio, TV and billboards campaigns.

The Town of Cicero is a proud member of the UWRWA and supporter of the Clear Choices Clean Water campaign, providing key initial funding for its development. This initiative is part of the Town of Cicero’s  efforts to reduce the impacts of stormwater pollution and create a safer, healthier place to live for our residents.