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Rain Barrels for the River

One community takes a big drop out of the Bay’s bucket
Rain barrels can help the citizens of the old-fashioned Bay village of Galesville prove that if we all do a little, we can do a lot. That’s the message five candidates of the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy are using this summer to promote their graduation project: adding 55 new rain barrels to the town household by household.

“People know each other and connect,” says Nora Terres, one of the five, of the choice of Galesville, where another candidate, Cel Petro, makes her home. “With the community interaction, it is easy for everyone to pull together and have a bigger impact.”

Each 55-gallon barrel will contain the downpour from a one-inch rainfall. Fifty-five barrels will keep 3,000 gallons of potential runoff from polluting the West River.
One of the Bay’s most destructive pollutants, stormwater runoff is a watershed wide concern monitored by the Bay diet. Funding for major stormwater management projects in Baltimore and our nine biggest counties comes from controversial Stormwater Remediation fees — dubbed the Rain Tax.
Little projects are up to us all.
The Rain Barrels for the River project began June 3 with the delivery of nine rain barrels, one to the post office, two to Galesville Memorial Hall and six to citizens. The Galesville Post Office is operation central. A rain barrel thermometer outside reports progress towards the goal.
 
Since 2011, candidates of the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy have earned graduation with a capstone project. This is the first project to target an entire community and one of the first behavior-change campaigns.
It’s a good idea, worth copying in your community. 
 
Learn more about the Anne Arundel Watershed Stewards Academy and rain barrels at www.aawsa.org.