Education should be the cornerstone of a good stormwater management plan. In order to reduce nonpoint source pollution, the public has to be aware of the problem and know what they can to do help.
When public agencies cannot provide a public education program, private conservation organizations can help. For many years, organizations throughout the area have provided education and outreach opportunities. An example of one such organization is the Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership. This partnership is one that consists of local organizations, scientists, outdoor enthusiasts and local leaders. The group publishes a newsletter entitled "River Talk." The newsletter typically highlights events sponsored by the partnership and provides information on watershed friendly activities. Some of the events the partnership hosts are Brownbag Briefings and It's Our River Day. The Brownbag Briefings cover topics such as "Road Salt and Water Quality" and "Easements on Public and Private Property." "It's Our River Day" is a statewide event that recruits volunteers to help clean up their local rivers. The partnership supports this effort by gathering people together and organizing events within the Upper Des Plaines River watershed.