Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium
Helping local governments meet requirements for stormwater education and public involvement

Public Education & Outreach

The CWSEC recognizes the importance of making the Consortium visible in the public eye. One way to do this is to participate in public events and festivals and maintain a presence in public spaces. Education providers have made efforts to attend festivals, fairs, conferences and other outdoor and public events to spread the message about the importance of water quality to the local culture and economy and to inform citizens on ways to reduce stormwater pollution. The educators have erected numerous displays with signage and outreach materials to reach as many event attendees as possible. In some instances, educators incorporated hands-on activities or demonstrations with their exhibits to enhance interaction with event participants. This section provides a snap shot of some of what has been done in the area of public education and outreach by the CWSEC in 2015. For more specific details and past annual activities, please visit the annual reports page.

Posters/Exhibits/Displays

  • Poster / display at Burgess Elementary School’s Career Day.
  • Display at Garden Festival Event at Brookgreen Gardens.
  • Education Display Kids Appreciation Day Apache Pier.
  • Display at the Georgetown Blessing of the Fleet festival.
  • Displays at the Hurricane Awareness Tour at the Myrtle Beach airport.
  • Pet Waste education booth at a local pet adoption event.

For details and more activities, see the annual reports page.

Web Pages

Digital media has been and continues to be the fastest growing portal for news and information. The education providers recognize the importance of maintaining a presence on the Wold Wide Web through dedicated domains and social networking sites that are updated regularly. These web resources greatly enhance the CWSEC’s ability to transfer knowledge and are vital to comprehensive stormwater education.

Television

When residents were surveyed as a part of the Environmental Attitudes and Behaviors Telephone Assessment conducted in the summer of 2009, respondents indicated their primary source for local information was the evening television news. With this information, the education providers have continued use of television media for the dispersal of watershed and stormwater pollution messages as well as pollution messages that related to current news.

  • WBTW TV 13 covered the Palmetto Glen storm drain marking event and made it into a “Living Green” segment, which aired twice and then was placed on their website.
  • WMBF NBC TV 10 and WPDE Channel 15 covered the Palmetto Glen storm drian marking event on several of their evening news programs. Both stations also put a story on their websites.
  • Susan Libes and Tom Garigen interviewed on WMBF about the Pirateland Campground UV treatment assessment
  • Time Warner Cable Network aired the “Fish Bowl” public service announcement.
  • Susan Libes interviewed on WMBF TV about NRDC annual beach report multiple times
  • Susan Libes interviewed on WMBF TV about litter on the beach and its effects.
  • Susan Libes interviewed on WBTW TV News 13 about oil spills.
  • Submitted stormwater slides for rotation on local government access channels.

Radio

Radio is a valuable resource for conveying current information to a wide variety of audiences. It also helps spread the message to audiences during the work day that may not be reached by television media. The Greater Myrtle Beach Urbanized Area market has a dedicated news radio station, WRNN Talk Radio, which has enabled the advertisement of CWSEC events through live interviews and public service announcements.

  • Interview with Steve, Dave and Debbie in the morning on WRNN about the Spring Greening Household Hazardous Waste Collection and other local stormwater outreach efforts.
  • Your Day Radio conducted several interviews at the S.C. Water Resources Conference.

Publications/Articles

Publications, articles and manuscripts are time-tested tools for recording and disseminating important information. CWSEC educators use newspaper media not only to publicize events and accomplishments, but also to improve awareness about stormwater pollution and the efforts the general public can make to preserve water resources. In addition to newspaper media, educators have created manuals and guidance documents to inform citizens about special topics such as rain gardens, vegetated buffers and more. Also, educators have submitted manuscripts describing research and educational impacts to conference proceedings.

  • The Sun News included a short article about the storm drain marking events at Ocean Lakes Campground and Palmetto Glen subdivision by Lakewood Elementary students in the Neighbors section of the newspaper.
  • Lindsay Milbourne, meteorologist for WBTW TV 13, wrote an article for the Surge Weekly about the Lakewood Elementary students marking storm drains in Ocean Lakes Campground and Palmetto Glen subdivision.
  • “Hypoxia in the Nearshore Coastal Water of SC Along the Grand Strand” paper was included in the proceedings of the Coastal Society
  • Susan interviewed in the Sun News about oil spill.
  • Master Gardener Debbie Mencheck writes monthly gardening articles in The Sun News; topics include rain gardens, rain barrels and water smart landscaping.

See more at the annual reports page.

Newsletters

Newsletters are an additional means used by CWSEC and its partners to communicate upcoming events, recent accomplishments, new resources and overall news. Typically, the audience includes organizations that are a part of this regional initiative as well as interested members of the general public. The CWSEC’s monthly E-News is also regularly distributed at meetings attended by the partners to continue the communication and increase awareness.

  • Spring issue of “Riverspeak” newsletter produced and distributed, summarizing the activities of the Waccamaw Riverkeeper Program to educate and advocate for the protection of our local watersheds.
  • CWSEC E-News, a monthly newsletter emailed to CWSEC members and others who are interested in local stormwater topics, aides communication of CWSEC activities and other stormwater-related topics.

See the E-News page to catch up on what has been going on in the CWSEC!

Conferences

Concepts with as many stakeholders and with such complex dynamics as monitoring and conserving a watershed as large as the Waccamaw River Basin warrant comprehensive attention that cannot be achieved through isolated presentations and workshops alone. They require a conference, which brings stakeholders and the public together to learn about and discuss basin-wide challenges and solutions.

  • The 2011 Waccamaw Conference
  • 5th Annual Public Data Conference presenting information on the Waccamaw River Volunteer Monitoring Project to volunteers, funders, the media and the public.

Lectures/Presentations

The lecture of presentation provides an avenue to convey important information about a specific topic directly to a captive audience. The education providers use this tool extensively to inform target audiences of all types about their impacts on stormwater and local water quality. Presentations that have been given by the education providers are so effective that demand for these activities continues to increase, and more groups are contacting the CWSEC educators to speak at their events. Lectures and presentations about stormwater topics are being given in schools, service club meetings, community events, HOA/POA meetings, home shows, conferences, councils, advisory boards and other venues.

  • Presentations by Horry County Stormwater staff to Town of Atlantic Beach staff included showing of stormwater training DVD titled “Storm Watch: Municipal Stormwater Pollution Prevention.” This is one of 3 videos that were purchased to assist with good housekeeping training and can be checked out from Karen at CCU.
  • Susan Libes presented “Development of genotypic tracers of pollutegen sources for northeastern South Carolina” to Horry County Stormwater Advisory Board. Presentation was written by Susan, Erin Burge and Mike Trapp.
  • Presentation about xeriscaping to Myrtle Beach Planning Commission.
  • Met with Spice Club members from Waccamaw Elementary School in Pawleys Island to talk about the uses of the rain garden that was installed last year (Year 5). Students discussed stormwater BMPs and assisted in EnviroScape presentations.
  • CCU intern, Kelly Muench, gave stormwater presentations to half of the 3rd graders at Lakewood Elementary using a PowerPoint program followed by the EnviroScape model. Kelly also prepared students for the upcoming storm drain marking events.
  • Trained Winyah Master Naturalists in river ecosystems and stream bioassessment.
  • Presentation on stormwater outreach and public education through Extension at annual SC Mosquito Control Association meeting.

See more at the annual reports page.

Workshops/Seminars

Some stormwater concepts are complicated and require more in-depth coverage and audience interaction than can be achieved with lectures and presentations alone. For this reason CWSEC educators coordinate interactive workshops, seminars with multiple sessions and day camps for kids that involve hands-on activities, tours of facilities and generally greater depth of coverage. These workshops and seminars enable the educators to teach practical application of the stormwater management concepts and give the workshop participants the opportunity to practice their new skills to empower them to engage their neighbors, co-workers and employees in the protection of water resources.

  • Shorescaping: Gardening on the Waterfront – a workshop for property managers and HOAs
  • Private Applicator Pesticide Training
  • Stormwater on Wheels LID (Northern Coastal) bus tour. LID sites were in North Myrtle Beach, Briarcliffe Acres, Myrtle Beach, East Horry County and Surfside Beach.
  • Conducted an aquatic invertebrate survey with homeschoolers in Crabtree canal near Long Avenue in Conway.
  • Roadmap for Adapting to Coastal Risks Training. This event was perfect for non-technical audiences, and helped decision makers learn methods and resources for coastal planning that do not require geospatial analysis or data processing skills.
  • Doordinated and facilitated CWSEC education providers’ strategic planning workshop.
  • Watershed field workshop at Cox Ferry Lake Area with high school students from Spirit of SC Summer Camp (from Charleston).
  • Plantersville Summer Academy Watershed Science Day at Hobcaw Barony

See more at the annual reports page.

Councils/Committees/Meetings

In order to maintain strong working relationships with stakeholders, regulators and partnering agencies, CWSEC educators coordinate and participate in numerous meetings each year. In some meetings the educators serve in an advisory capacity, while in other meetings they coordinate joint initiatives and events. Meetings attendees are made aware of what the CWSEC is and does through the presence of the CWSEC education provider. The presence of CWSEC educators help to increase interagency communication and connectivity for the benefit of watershed management and protection.

  • Attended the Town of Surfside Beach Stormwater Committee meeting, introduced Leigh Wood, new CTP Coordinator and discussed swash basin water quality research.
  • Meeting with Board of Directors of Osprey Cove HOA about stormwater pond management.
  • Planning meeting with Lakewood Elementary principal, lead teacher, Horry County Stormwater project manager and Ocean Lakes Campground facilities manager to discuss specific logistics of storm drain making projects at Ocean Lakes and Palmetto Glen subdivision.
  • Planning meeting for Ocean Bay Middle School as a Green Step School.
  • Participated in certification workshop and created the mission statement for Keep Horry County Beautiful.
  • Attended monthly Horry County Stormwater Advisory Board meetings
  • Consulted with Board of Directors and residents of Holly Sands HOA on water quality protection and proper pond maintenance.

See more at the annual reports page.