Polluted stormwater runoff is responsible for 60% of our nation’s water bodies presently not meeting their classification; this is also the case in Maine. Maine’s urban streams are feeling the impact of pollutants washed off city streets, urban yards and parking lots. Many of the pollutants are the result of individual actions taken throughout the community. As one fifth grader put it “it is people pollution”. To solve people pollution, the Think Blue Partnership aims to change human behaviors throughout our community in neighborhoods, business and municipal services.
Who we are
The ThinkBlueMaine partnership is comprised of the 28 regulated stormwater municipalities, nested regulated entities, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, State Planning Office, Maine DEP, and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension working together to meet permit requirements and to make Maine a better place to live. We work statewide but also as four local clusters. In 2006 the Environmental Protection Agency recognized our efforts by awarding us with an Environmental Merit Award. This annual award recognizes outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant contributions toward preserving and protecting our natural resources.
What we’ve done
- Used focus groups & social marketing to orchestrate a mass media campaign.
- Produced and funded mass media ads to promote Clean Water.
- One cluster of communities developed a good-housekeeping stormwater manual and training and then shared with other clusters.
- Partnered with AmeriCorps, Portland Water District, Maine DEP and Soil & Water Conservation Districts to provide stormwater education to teachers and youth.
- Partnered with Maine DEP and a Governor’s Intern to change the way people manage their lawns.
- Partnered with local university engineering departments to work with students to map storm drain systems using GIS.
- Developed a display to reinforce mass media effort for use at local events.
- Stenciled storm drains with local organizations and groups. (Note that stenciling has been shown by U. of Wisconsin as an effective method to educate people regarding stormwater).
- Planned area wide Penobscot River Clean Up Day.
- Partnered with University of Maine Cooperative Extension & Maine Department of Agriculture on lawn care outreach efforts.
- Applied for EPA Environmental Education Grants.
- The MS4 clusters are in the process of formalizing their relationship and incorporating (503C status). This will insure the long term viability and commitment.
- Worked collaboratively with Maine DEP to develop an area wide program for the beneficial use of storm drain cleanings.
We have taken a number of unique steps to go beyond simply addressing state and federal permit requirements. We have:
- Gone beyond federal requirements of informing people to working to achieve behavior change.
- Applied social marketing principals to our approach to outreach.
- Used focus groups to determine our message and methods.
- Evaluated our efforts through phone & intercept surveys.
- Worked together both statewide and in local clusters to share resources.
- Cape Elizabeth
- Old Orchard Beach
- South Berwick
- Bangor Air National Guard
- Cumberland County Commissioners
- Cumberland County Emergency Management
- Cumberland County Soil &Water Conservation District
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection
- Maine Department of Transportation
- Maine Department of Ag., Conservation & Forestry
- Maine Turnpike Authority
- Maine YardScaping Partnership
- Penobscot County Soil &Water Conservation District
- Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
- Southern Maine Community College
- University College of Bangor
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension
- University of Maine, Orono
- University of Southern Maine