Recently, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) unveiled its new storm water public outreach campaign "Protect Every Drop." The goal of this program is to educate Californians about the sources and pathways of stormwater pollution, and encourage motorists to reduce the pollutants that affect water quality in California’s streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waters, keeping them drinkable, swimmable and fishable.
Actions that the public can take which will be addressed include performing routine vehicle and tire maintenance, properly disposing of trash and recycling, and covering truckloads that may fall off during travel. The wide reach of CalTrans stormwater drainage infrastructure highlights the need for this program:
Caltrans owns and operates storm drain systems along more than 15,000 miles of the state highway system, which discharge into every major watershed of the state. Stormwater picks up pollution washed off of vehicles and roadways when it rains, which makes its way through ditches and pipes that make up storm drain systems. The polluted water then discharges either to an adjacent city or county storm drain system, or to a stream, river or lake – and eventually to bays and the ocean.