A Stream Team campaign to prevent water pollution in Bellevue's Kelsey Creek watershed won an award from the Puget Sound chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Pledge cards were mailed to the more than 10,000 residents in the watershed last year, offering tips for preventing water pollution, including picking up pet waste, taking cars to commercial car washes and using fewer chemicals on yards.
Residents were also reminded that what washes into storm drains flows to streams untreated and that Kelsey Creek is home to chinook, coho and sockeye salmon, as well as other wildlife. Almost 500 pledge cards have been returned -- close to the campaign's 5 percent response goal -- stating what actions the resident will take to help prevent water pollution.
Almost half of Bellevue residents contacted by phone surveys and focus groups prior to the mailing were unaware that stormwater flows directly into local water bodies untreated. They were also not sure what practices cause water pollution, but wanted to know what they could do to prevent it.
The Utilities Department's Stream Team raises community awareness about stormwater issues and invites citizens to help monitor and restore local streams. The campaign was partially grant funded by the King Conservation District. The Stream Team plans to apply this kind of campaign to other Bellevue watersheds in the future.
The PRSA presented the city with its Totem award for research, planning, execution and evaluation at a Seattle ceremony Feb. 9.
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