Encinitas school district wins $688,000 water awareness grant

North Coast Current

The Encinitas Union School District received a $688,000 grant for the Drought Response Outreach Program for Schools, aimed at reducing storm water runoff and encouraging conservation efforts, the district announced June 9.

All projects under the grant, also known as DROPS, must have an education/outreach component designed to build student and public awareness of the project’s environmental benefits and the sustainability of the state’s water resources, the district said in its announcement. The Encinitas district’s component is the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program. The component is overseen by director Bill Dean and Kathy Hacker.

The Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program is now taught at five Encinitas district schools — El Camino Creek, Flora Vista, La Costa Heights, Mission Estancia and Olivenhain Pioneer. About 100 student interns participated in developing the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for their respective campuses, the district said.

The students presented a summary of their work and delivered the final plan to the school district’s Board of Trustees on May 26. Project recommendations included the reduction of pollution flowing into the schools’ storm drain systems, which empty into the ocean.

The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted guidelines for DROPS, which highlights projects to reduce storm water pollution and promotes water conservation, sustainability and other anti-runoff efforts.

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