Where You Live

Watershed InfographicH2O Trash Patrol has acquired the licensing for the Where You Live Program. Working in partnership with the program originator Dean & Associates, we are excited about the environmental education applications of the Where You Live Program.This Program will improve residents’ understanding of how their actions can help protect their watersheds all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The Program’s computer application and the associated educational campaign is tailored to reach several types of audiences, all influential in supporting the environmental health of the cities who utilize it. These include: school children and staff, local businesses, community groups, and residents with Internet access. In addition to providing guidance about ecologically beneficial behavior modification, the program offers participants specific information about the importance of local watershed protection, and develops a strong sense of individual responsibility in the improvement of local environmental health. To reach the broadest audience possible, individuals are able to run the Where You Live computer application in either English or Spanish.

H2O Trash Patrol and Dean & Associates have teamed up to develop the computer application component of the Program, which will serve as the Program’s critical demonstrative element. By leveraging available web-based mapping technologies and information provided by each city, the computer application will provide a virtual tour of used oil traveling through storm water drainage paths as they traverse the hydrologic units and geographic features within the watersheds. In addition to tracing storm water drainage routes, this virtual tour will include informational pop-ups containing video presentations that highlight habitats and species of interest, and further contextualizes discourse about the impacts of storm water pollution on these sensitive ecosystems.

By adopting the Where You Live computer application as an innovative feature of community-led education efforts, the overall Where You Live Program encourages a greater investment by residents in (1) the proper disposal and recycling of hazardous materials and priority pollutants, (2) the importance of reducing litter and the value of recycling, and (3) the protection of local watersheds and communities. As noted, while the computer application offers powerful visualization tools, the program as a whole is centered on the development of an educational tool and an associated curriculum to support responsive, self-directed community education opportunities. Because the Where You Live Program is not a part of an existing environmental mitigation program, this project meets the requirement of going “beyond compliance and beyond mitigation,” and we believe it will go beyond expectations in cultivating community stewardship behaviors to the benefit the cities who implement it.

Currently the City of Oceanside is utilizing the Where You Live Program. Of particular note, on October 30, 2013, the Program received CalRecycle’s state wide Program Innovation Award. The Where You Live Program improves and enhances this award-winning Program by improving the user experience, and allowing Spanish speakers to utilize the program. The Where You Live computer application, accessed through the City’s website, increases awareness and directs responsible actions regarding used oil and filter recycling by connecting the individual to their home or business. Residents, students, businesses and community groups simply type in their address, and using Google Earth, watch as drop of oil or a piece of plastic appears on the screen at their address. Then as the sound of rain and thunder begin the drop of oil or plastic flows off the address site, simulating a rain event. As it flows away from the home, school or business it flows through the watershed and through environmental features. During the tour the program pauses and a video of the habitat or species appear. A narrator then describes the importance of the habitat and the negative impact oil or plastic has on the species living in that particular environment. The tour continues all the way to the Pacific Ocean and concludes there. In this way we connect individual behavior in a global context. When the computer application finishes, links to City services and environmental groups will appear on the screen. In this way the user has immediate access to opportunities to take actions. Local clean up activities and city sponsored environmental events can also be accessed through the click of a mouse.

To help facilitate the recycling of used oil and filters, at the beginning of the tour, the program flies to the closest Certified Collection Center and Household Hazardous Waste Disposal site and provides the name and address.

To view the software in action for the City of Oceanside, click here. In order to view successfully, you will need to download Google Earth and utilize an Oceanside street address.

Municipalities who would like to learn more about the Where You Live program, contact us at (760) 230-5830 or via email at pickitup@h2otrashpatrol.com

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