Education campaigns to reduce stormwater pollution in commercial areas: Do they work?

Taylor, A; Curnow, R; Fletcher, T; Lewis, J; (2006) Education campaigns to reduce stormwater pollution in commercial areas: Do they work? Journal of environmental management, 84 (3). pp. 323-35. ISSN 0301-4797 DOI:

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A monitoring and evaluation program was undertaken, involving six different styles of evaluation to determine whether a low-cost, eight month education campaign that operated within a small commercial district was successful at changing people's behavior and reducing stormwater litter loads. This project also tested newly developed guidelines for monitoring and evaluating all types of non-structural stormwater quality best management practices (BMPs). The project evaluated: the extent and quality of the campaign's implementation; the degree to which it changed the awareness, attitudes, self-reported behavior and actual behavior of merchants and the public; and the nature of changes in stormwater litter loads. Overall, the education campaign produced mixed results, with the net result being modestly positive. Specifically, it was: unsuccessful at significantly influencing the knowledge or attitudes of merchants or the public; modestly successful at influencing the behavior of merchants and the public; and modestly successful at reducing litter loads in stormwater. At a theoretical level, the project highlights how using different 'styles' of BMP evaluation can help to build a more complete picture of a BMP's performance. At a practical level, the project helped to improve the monitoring and evaluation guidelines and produced evidence-based design guidelines for future campaigns that aim to reduce littering in commercial areas.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 16891054
Web of Science ID: 247905600009


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