The Asbury Park Green Team Committee is starting an initiative called Adopt-a-Drain in an effort to stop flooding and to help lower the pollution in the city’s three lakes.
Storm drains are the rectangular, grated openings in the streets, near the curbs. Storm drains are designed to prevent flooding by diverting rainwater from parking lots and roadways into natural bodies of water. Kathleen Mumma, an Asbury Park Green Team volunteer, said when storm drains are clogged or misused, they deliver unwanted pollution to our lakes (and in turn, our ocean), such as: animal waste, antifreeze, fertilizer, garbage, gasoline, grass clippings, leaves, motor oil, paint, and pesticides.
Asbury Park has 642 storm drains that divert rainwater into the city’s three coastal lakes – Deal Lake, Sunset Lake, and Wesley Lake. All three lakes receive water that flows directly from our streets, parking lots and driveways.
Mumma said coastal lakes are important parts of New Jersey’s aquatic ecosystems, and they have slowly degraded over time, creating unhealthy environments for animals and plant life, and people, too. This degradation in Monmouth County’s coastal lakes is due to several factors such as man-made modifications, pollution from stormwater runoff, excess algae, plant overgrowth and litter.
“By adopting a drain and committing to keeping the drain’s surface clean, you can help lower pollution to the lakes and improve the aquatic environment for animals, plants, and humans,” Mumma said in a statement.
Adopting a drain can also prevent flooding, she said. When there is significant rainfall and drains are clogged, roads and parking lots can flood, damaging vehicles and property.
Mumma suggests residents look around at the roadways and parking lots near their home to locate a storm drain that needs help to stay clean.
Sign up online to adopt a drain in your neighborhood: https://nj.adopt-a-drain.org, she said.
Commit to keeping your drain clear Sweep and dispose of leaves, trash and other debris off the drain surface year round. It takes just a few minutes – bring a bucket/bag, gloves, a shovel/rake or a snow shovel.
For questions or more information contact Mumma at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the City of Asbury Park’s Sustainability Officer, Irina Gasparyan, at 732-502-5724.