Things You Should Know

  • Storm drains (a.k.a. catch basins) are designed only for rain and snow melt (not trash, leaves, or oil).
  • Whatever goes down a storm drain goes into a natural waterway untreated.
  • Fish don't smoke, purchase candy bars, sip soda, or swill beer, which means the litter on Minnesota's shores comes from dodgy human behavior.
  • A minor rain can become a gully washer when runoff from roofs, roads, and parking lots (impervious surfaces) adds volume and speed to normal runoff. Consequences: soil erosion, shoreline damage, water pollution, and hazardous situations.

Ways to be a Stormwater Steward

  • Adopt a storm drain.
  • Build and landscape with permeable surfaces where possible.
  • Wash cars where the soap and water will run onto grass.
  • Create and maintain rain gardens.
  • Use rain barrels to collect roof runoff for watering plants.
  • Participate in a beach sweep.
  • Pick up litter and yard clippings.
  • Pick up pet waste.
  • Don't over salt icy paths and driveways.
  • Share information about litter and stormwater.
  • Create and maintain rain gardens.
  • Use rain barrels to collect roof runoff for watering plants.

Northland Innovative Stormwater Management Presentations

  • Learn about newer techniques being used to manage stormwater through 16 PDFs from this 2010 conference.

Stormwater Videos

Stormwater Audio Files

Changing with the Times: Trends in Stream Flow (6:09)
Aired 7/6/11
14.8 MB mp3 | Stream
Clear Running Waters? (5:22)
Aired 3/30/11
9.9 MB mp3 | Stream
Hold the Salt: Winter Road Maintenance and Water Quality (5:13)
Aired 3/2/11
4.9 MB mp3 | Stream
Nitrogen, Phosphorous and
Algal Blooms (6:05)
Aired 2/3/10
5.7 MB mp3 | Stream
Stormwater Management (5:05)
Aired 12/2/09
1.0 MB mp3 | Stream
After the Flood: Water Quality (10:31)
Aired 5/20/09
1.9 MB mp3 | Stream
Water Quality and Research Challenges in Duluth Streams (6:05)
Aired 9/9/08 and 9/11/08
5.7 MB mp3 | Stream
Stormwater Runoff (7:33)
Aired 9/7/05
9 MB mp3 | Stream

Stormwater on the Internet
Lake Superior Streams, a center for stormwater resources and regional stream data
The Clean Water Minnesota Media Campaign places stormwater pollution prevention public education messages in the mass media and offers resources for stormwater educators and seasonal clean water tips for residents.
The University of Minnesota Duluth stormwater pollution prevention program
The EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System - stormwater on a
national level
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers stormwater information, permit applications and guidance documents
The Northland Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program works in the Twin Cities and the Western Lake Superior Basin to help decision makers factor the relationship between land use and natural resource protection into community planning and development.
The University of Minnesota Water Resource Center developed a Guidance Document that outlines and explains stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

To talk to a Sea Grant educator about Stormwater, contact:

This page last modified on April 04, 2012     © 1996 – 2014 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
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