(Waukesha, WI) – The Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use and the City of Oconomowoc celebrates World Oceans Day on June 8 by adding more opportunities for residents to join the Adopt-A-Drain program. The program reminds residents of the direct connection between the storm drains in the street and the waterways they are connected to.

“Waukesha County’s ‘Lake Country’ area is known for their sparkling lakes, approachable beaches, great fishing and other fun on-the-water activities,” said County Executive Paul Farrow, “World Oceans Day is a great reminder that our curbside decisions have important impacts downstream.”

World Oceans Day focuses on the human impact on the ocean and the importance of protecting this essential resource. The sea regulates our climate and weather, and it produces at least 50% of the oxygen in the air we breathe. Wisconsinites can support our connection to the ocean by keeping freshwater clean.

“Keeping storm drains clean helps improve water quality, prevents future flooding, and saves taxpayers money,” said City of Oconomowoc Mayor Robert Magnus. “Volunteering to keep your neighborhood drain clean also reduces the amount of contaminated waters reaching our lakes and oceans.”

When “natural” debris collects in drains – such as leaves, soil, grass clippings, and fertilizer – they wash into the drain and become pollution in our lakes and streams. These pollutants can kill fish, close beaches, and increase weed and algae growth. Clear drains will also lessen the possibility of flooding. All storm drain adopters will be provided a brief online training to be sure they remain safe while clearing their drain, as well as a safety vest and storm drain marker.

For more information on how to adopt a drain, visit: www.waukeshacounty.gov/AdoptADrain.

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