King and Pierce counties have won the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) National Environmental Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Information and Education with their jointly-managed “Don’t Drip and Drive” campaign.
The regional public awareness campaign (www.fixcarleaks.org), which started in spring 2013 and continued into summer 2014, encouraged Puget Sound-area drivers to identify and fix vehicle leaks to reduce the amount of oil and other petroleum-related products that pollute nearby bodies of water, including Puget Sound.
“The ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ team is proud to have led this important and effective campaign,” said Brian Ziegler, Pierce County Public Works director. “Washington drivers showed an increase in their responsiveness to fixing vehicle leaks right away. The team plans to continue this work to connect vehicle owners to the resources they need to fix leaks in the coming years.”
The campaign team partnered with the Automotive Service Association Northwest, AAA Washington, EnviroStars and individual auto repair shops to offer free visual leak inspections and discounts to repair leaks. In addition, the team held free leak check events with nonprofit partners in communities throughout the region.
“Motor oil and other automotive fluids that drip onto pavement will eventually flow into waterbodies where they can have a devastating impact on those ecosystems,” said Christie True, director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. “Maintaining a healthy environment for future generations is not an option or an admirable goal – it is our duty, and fixing vehicle leaks is something that virtually all of us can easily do.”
The ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ campaign was managed by King County in 2013 and Pierce County in 2014. The program leadership team was made up of representatives from Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties, Washington State Department of Ecology and Futurewise, with PRR, Inc. managed regional advertising, and Cascadia Consulting Services managed program evaluation.
“The ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ campaign showcases a great partnership between terrific clients ready to make serious impact in the Puget Sound region and the wide-ranging expertise of PRR,” said Mike Rosen, PRR, Inc. managing principal. “It is a great honor to see ‘Don’t Drip and Drive’ recognized by NACWA— particularly since the campaign impacts the community in which we work and play and the water in which we, our children, and the salmon swim.”
The program has been funded by grants from Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Partnership and contributions from partnering organizations and businesses. Additional support and participation in the program came from multiple environmental organizations in Pierce, King, Snohomish and Whatcom counties, and cities and counties throughout the Puget Sound region.
Since 1990, NACWA has recognized individuals and member agencies who have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection and wastewater management. The Don’t Drip and Drive campaign will be honored at the NACWA award ceremony during its Winter Conference on Feb. 22 in San Diego.
Tiffany O’Dell, Pierce County Public Works outreach coordinator
Mary Rabourn, King County Water and Land Resources communications specialist
Diana Steeble, PRR, Inc. director of marketing and public relations