Be A Water Steward
With an average of less than 15 inches of rain per year, Ventura needs every drop to keep us green and our water sources healthy. But stormwater is a challenging water-quality problem because of the pollutants it carries directly into our waterways, especially during the first storms of the year.
Our ocean and rivers are the last stop for rainwater that runs over streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites, collecting fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, leaves, pet waste, litter, oil and grease along the way. As a coastal community, we can smell and see what happens to the ocean when it rains or when people send litter, yard waste, irrigation water or other liquids into the storm drain system.
Small everyday actions, like individual raindrops creating a storm, adopted by enough of us can make a big difference. Here are some suggestions that will make you and your family year-round water protectors:
Always dispose of litter in the trash. If you spot litter, take the time to pick it up and throw it away. Litter hurts all of us by harming our quality of life and it’s a simple way to show you care.
Don’t let your sprinklers water the sidewalk and streets or run so long that water flows to the storm drain. Not only is this a waste of our precious drinking water, it can carry fertilizers and organic materials like leaves, litter and pet waste directly to the ocean or river.
Use a broom to sweep the driveway or sidewalks, instead of your hose. You’ll save water and keep dirt, leaves and other contaminants out of the storm drain.
Sweep up grass clippings after mowing instead of blowing them into the street (and ask your gardener to do so also) and place in your Yard Waste Brown Barrel for collection. While natural, organic materials like grass and leaves decompose in water and can cause imbalances that harm aquatic life.
Use organic or other lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides sparingly. Some contain hazardous chemicals that don’t belong in our water.
Pick up after your pet and dispose properly in the trash - every single time - both out and about in your neighborhood and in the yard. It’s good manners, too.
Be sure to check your car for oil leaks and repair them immediately.
Always dispose of liter in the trash. If you spot litter, take the time to pick it up and throw it away.
For more information about what’s happening to prevent stormwater pollution, visit cityofventura.net/water/stormwater.
Water: Take 1 Short Film Contest Announces Winners
More than 125 community members attended the Water: Take 1 Film Contest Awards Party on November 8, hosted by Brooks Institute of Photography at one of their Ventura sound stages.
Following a screening of the top 10 films, the $1,500 Grand Prize sponsored by Limoneira was awarded to the film “Water,” directed by Peter Jansen, who is from the Netherlands. “Water” was chosen by a distinguished jury of entertainment and environmental professionals, who also selected the film “Quotient,” directed by Alexander Powell of San Diego, as the winner of the Best Student Short Film Award presented by AECOM.
A local family from Newbury Park submitted the film, “Don’t Blow H2O,” directed by Jo and John Lazo, which received the most votes at watertake1.com and won the Audience Choice Award sponsored by Patagonia. The entire Lazo family helped make the film, which costars the kids, John and Elle, as two children who become more aware of water conservation. The film includes a special rap song written by the family and performed by John and Elle in the video.
“My 6th grade science teacher gave us the article that was in the newspaper and told us that we might be interested in it,” said John Lazo, when asked about how his family learned about the contest. “We took a couple of weeks and kind of brainstormed everything about how we were going to do it and then put it into action.”
Water: Take 1 Awards Presentation Video
Over 35 short films entered the contest at watertake1.com, the online website for the program. All the films competed for votes on the website to determine the Audience Choice Award recipient and will remain online for viewing until next spring.
“We started Water: Take 1 to inspire changes in attitudes and to encourage new sustainable actions, such as more Ocean Friendly Gardens instead of turf lawns for landscaping,” said Ventura Water General Manager Shana Epstein.
In addition to the watertake1.com website, more information about the program is available at cityofventura.net/watertake1 and the Water: Take 1 Facebook page.