Welcome to Clear Choices Clean Water!
Clear Choices Clean Water is a program designed to increase awareness about the choices we make and the impacts they have on our streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. After all, this is our drinking water, the water we play in, and a vital part of nature’s ecosystems. Water-friendly practices help to protect our precious water resources. By educating individuals on these actions and giving them the tools needed to make behavior changes, Clear Choices Clean Water empowers everyone to do their part for water quality and conservation.
Our mission is to inspire widespread behavior change that reduces water pollution and protects water supplies.
Through partnerships, multimedia resources, and real-time environmental impact measurements we educate citizens and foster personal engagement in water resource protection.
Clear Choices Clean Water – Greater Toledo Lake Erie
Clear Choices, Clean Water – Greater Toledo Lake Erie is a campaign to increase awareness about choices we make and the impact they have on our streams and lakes. Water friendly practices such as using phosphorus-free fertilizer, landscaping with native plants, managing yard and pet wastes, and volunteering to clean up our waterways help make clear clean water available to us. By educating individuals on these important actions and providing citizens with water-focused volunteer opportunities, we empower everyone to do their part for water quality and conservation.
Clear Choices Clean Water – Greater Toledo Lake Erie is a cooperative effort between TMACOG’s Stormwater Coalition members and many local partners. Since 2003 the Stormwater Coalition has been working to educate the citizens of northwest Ohio, showing how individuals can help to protect and improve water quality in our rivers and Lake Erie. In 2016, members of the Stormwater Coalition decided to fund the launch of an affiliate program of the National Clear Choices Clean Water Campaign based in Indianapolis. The coalition and its partners went live with Clear Choices Clean Water – Greater Toledo Lake Erie in Spring 2017.
Listed Below are some of the education programs and resources offered by the Stormwater Coalition over the years.
- Give Water a Hand – A comprehensive education partnership between the Stormwater Coalition and Partners for Clean Streams covering topics from water conservation and hazardous waste disposal to rain gardens and septic systems. The campaign has reached thousands of homes and small businesses in northwest Ohio.
- Stormwater Coalition Newsletter – Seasonally relevant information about how to protect water quality. The newsletter is distributed electronically and in print form in each SWC member community.
- Community Events – SWC member jurisdictions provide one-on-one education in their communities. They share educational materials at county fairs and other events and work side-by-side with community members on river cleanup events.
- Collaboration with Local Education Partners – SWC members are involved in water quality education efforts in close collaboration with partners including Soil and Water Districts, Partners for Clean Streams, Metroparks of the Toledo Area, and the National Association of Homebuilders
How Does It Work?
The focal point of the program is this unique, interactive website that is supported by complementary outreach resources and built-in viral marketing elements. The best way to understand our effort is to TAKE A PLEDGE – try any of the action pledge options from the ‘Take A Pledge’ menu. You will see how taking a pledge provides you immediate personalized data about the positive impacts your specific action has made for our waters. Pledges are also ‘put on the map’ via a push pin marker that helps the pledge take visualize how their pledge of action, alongside thousands of others, will impact water quality in their watershed. These two outcomes help people comprehend how they made a difference, allowing them to feel part of something bigger, something socially relevant, something transformative.
Under the direction of Purdue University researchers, Clear Choices’ founders conducted several social indicator surveys whose results provided the core foundation for the program’s messages and delivery mechanisms within the social context of Indiana communities. With the help of national experts, key elements of social marketing were then woven into the program to ensure its messages would strike an emotional cord and be relatable to target audiences. The survey is repeated every five years to continue evaluating success and adjusting outreach approaches. Partners outside of central Indiana also conduct surveys to help inform program content. Clear Choices’ content is constantly growing and evolving to reflect community and environmental needs.
Clear Choices Clean Water is a program of the White River Alliance. It was developed in partnership with the The Watershed Foundation in 2010. The program has many licensed users throughout Indiana, as well as National Affiliate programs across the country. Clear Choices is supported and utilized by several municipal stormwater departments (MS4s), lake and watershed organizations, SWCDs, water utilities, and other non-profit and agency partners. Learn more about the benefit of partnership opportunities HERE.
Clear Choices is led by its passionate and creative Board of Directors and Executive Staff:
- Tim Stottlemyer, City of Noblesville, President
- Lance Lantz, Town of Zionsville, Vice President
- Lyn Crighton, The Watershed Foundation, Treasurer
- Mary Hayes, Program Director
How Can I Become More Involved?
Become a Licensed Partner and gain access to lots of customizable resources, monthly outreach content, measurable results, and annual reports. More info HERE.
Donate to help support the development of more educational resources and reach more people. More info HERE.
Share educational content through your email and social media networks. Stay up-to-date on relevant seasonal messages by signing up for the Clear Choices Clean Water e-news and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Contact Clear Choices program staff with any questions at email@example.com.
“Reaching people with messages about simple behavior changes not only improves water quality by cumulative impact, but begins to incubate a culture of stewardship that transcends the family, business, or classroom.”
– Mary Hayes, Clear Choices Clean Water Program Director
Be a Part of Clear Choices
Local governments and other organizations in northwest Ohio interested joining the Clear Choices Clean Water – Greater Toledo Lake Erie campaign should contact Kari Gerwin.
If you are interested in launching a program outside of northwest Ohio, see the affiliate brochure to learn about becoming an Affiliate of Clear Choices Clean Water.
To learn more about the program, read this Clear Choices Clean Water e-brochure.