Clean Ocean Action

Clean Ocean Advocate, July 2004


In 1986, COA introduced stenciling storm drains with a blue fish to educate people about the problem of "pointless" or nonpoint source pollution.  Marking storm drains is a great tool in the protection of our waterways.  It reminds people that what goes into the storm drain -- oil, fertilizers, pesticides, litter (e.g., cigarette butts) -- does not disappear, but continues down the pipe and into our waterways, including the ultimate sink, the ocean.  


The state of New Jersey has mandated that all storm drains be identified, mapped, and marked during the next five years.  As each storm drain is identified, its Global Positioning System (GPS) location is recorded and a five-digit number is assigned to the drain.  Each location will than be added to the state’s Geographic Information System (GIS).   


It is also a great opportunity to mark the drains and many towns are leading their own stenciling projects.  For example, Cape May County has over 13,000 storm drains and will be marking them with "No Dumping! Drains to Our Waterway," and a logo still to be selected in a contest.  The activity is also popular with scouts and youth groups.  In Rumson, Nico Hall stenciled all the town’s storm drains using COA’s kit as part of his Eagle Scout project.  COA’s program includes 2 stencils, instruction cards, and door hangers that are distributed to homes and businesses in the stenciled area to educate local citizens about the effort.  For more information about or to order a COA stencil kit, click here or call 732-872-0111 or 609-729-9262.


49 Avenel Blvd.
Long Branch, NJ 07740

Field Office:

Gateway National Recreation Area
Sandy Hook, New Jersey

Voice: (732) 872-0111
FAX: (732) 872-8041

Candid/Guidestar "Essential nonprofit data, tools, and resources"

Charity Navigator, "Your Guide to Intelligent Giving"