Dump no waste! Drains to lake!

The Aqua Girls – Patty Yuhas, Olivia Reed, Caroline Fowles, Audrey Ray and Ava Ransom – are back in action, stenciling reminders near storm drains to keep waste out of Porter Creek.

Do you remember when the Aqua Girls cleaned up Huntington Beach with the help of some wonderful community partners and some Bay Village citizens over a year and a half ago? We couldn’t have done the beach cleanup without their help and guidance! 

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, we were able to help out our community partners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) and the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project. Ms. Suzanne Krippel from CCBH and Ms. Amy Roskilly from SWCD were handing out flyers and spray painting signs near storm sewers around Porter Creek to remind people not to dump their waste in the storm sewers.

The sewers the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project focused on were located on streets that had the most pollution and bacteria in them. I was surprised to see how many of the sewers were located near Bay Middle School! These sewers not only have the most pollution but they also drain directly into Porter Creek and Lake Erie. 

Ms. Roskilly explained to us that most people think all the water in all sewers go to a water treatment plant but that is not true! Some sewers like the ones we marked do not get treated and drain directly to the lake. She said if someone dumps his/her coffee in these drains then the coffee would go into the lake, polluting it. She asked us if we wanted to swim in coffee and it grossed us out.

I believe it is important to keep Lake Erie clean because we swim in it, we get our drinking water from it and there are animals living in it. We are so lucky to live by one of the five Great Lakes and we need to keep it clean for us, the animals and for generations to come.

Also, don’t forget that when you garden, wash your car and clean your house to please use eco-friendly products because these products eventually get washed down the drains and some go directly to the lake. I am sure that no one wants to swim in chemicals! 

I want to thank Ms. Roskilly and Ms. Krippel for organizing the event. I also want to thank Mrs. Martha Fisher for organizing some of her third-grade students to participate and inviting us to help. The Aqua Girls had a great time volunteering to help keep Porter Creek and Lake Erie clean. I hope that people take the flyers and new signs at the storm sewers seriously and continue to do their best to keep our waterways as clean as possible.

Audrey Ray

sixth-grader at Bay Middle School

Read More on Musings from the Middle
Volume 5, Issue 21, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.15.2013