May 19, 2009
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) won the People's Choice Award for two public service announcements encouraging people to pick up pet wastes at the National Nonpoint and Stormwater Outreach Conference in Portland, Oregon on May 13, 2009.
"These public service announcements are a key element of Alachua County EPD's public outreach campaign designed to encourage citizens to scoop, bag, and trash pet wastes at home and around the community'" said Chris Bird, Director of Alachua County EPD. He continued saying, "I want to recognize Stacie Greco, EPD Senior Environmental Specialist, for her work in obtaining funding for, designing, and implementing the pet waste campaign. In addition, Group 5 and Associates has done an excellent job creating the campaign materials, including the public service announcements. Finally, I would like to thank the Gainesville Clean Water Partnership for funding this important campaign to help reduce bacteria levels in our creeks".
Many of the creeks in Alachua County are listed as Impaired Waters by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, due to their high levels of fecal coliform bacteria. Pet waste is a known source of bacteria that can be reduced by simply changing behaviors. EPD's campaign uses innovative social marketing techniques; such as, providing free bag dispensers to attach to leashes and installing pet waste disposal stations in public parks, to help citizens overcome the barriers of cleaning up after their pets. Many local veterinarian offices are participating in the campaign by displaying EPD's posters and distributing pet waste pamphlets and magnets to their clients.
EPD is also working with the Alachua County Health Department, the City of Gainesville Public Works Department, and Gainesville Regional Utilities to identify and reduce additional sources of fecal coliform bacteria to our creeks.
For more information, or to view the commercials, click here or call Chris Bird at 352-264-6801.