Nine environmentally-conscious students from North Bergen High School joined with members of the Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) on Wednesday, Oct. 2 to help promote stormwater safety and eliminate pollution in our region.
MUA Recycling Aide Tom Stampe and the students walked the length of Bergenline Avenue, Palisade Avenue, and Hudson Avenue in North Bergen attaching metal plates stating “No dumping: drains to river” to stormwater sewer grates to discourage anyone from introducing inappropriate materials into the stormwater drainage network.
The students also handed out flyers to businesses and residents raising awareness of stormwater safety issues.
As stated in the flyer, “Pollutants seep into the ground and are carried by stormwater (rain and snow) directly to our drinking water, streams, lakes, and oceans. Contaminated stormwater is the #1 cause of water pollution in New Jersey. Simple things like proper clean-up after oneself and careful use of chemicals in the home, office, and yard are helpful ways for businesses and residents to protect the water.”
At midday the students, all members of the Environmental Club and/or AP Environmental Science Class, took a break to visit the Woodcliff Water Treatment Plant on River Road in North Bergen for a more in-depth lesson on wastewater management. MUA Executive Director Frank Pestana, Plant Supervisor Cesar Baez, and Assistant Supervisor Michael Revello explained how the plant works to efficiently cleanse stormwater that is gathered from the storm drains.
Mayor Nicholas Sacco even dropped by the facility to personally thank the students for their efforts to help keep our water clean.
The educational initiative with the students was coordinated with the active participation of NBHS Science Teacher and Environmental Coordinator Dana Hojnowski and AP Environmental Science Teacher Jennifer Checchio,
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