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Announcing Largest Adopt a Drain Program in the Nation

April 1, 2019

Woman cleaning trash from storm drainAdopt a Storm Drain, a new program aimed at protecting area lakes, rivers, and wetlands, has just launched in the Twin Cities. Residents in the seven-county metro area and Rochester are invited to “adopt” a storm drain by committing to keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris. The simple act of sweeping up around a storm drain protects local lakes and rivers by preventing pollution from entering our shared waterways.

Residents can sign up to adopt a storm drain at Simply create an account with your name and address to claim your storm drain. Once you’ve signed up, Adopt-a-Storm-Drain will send you tips on how to clean up safely.

When you adopt a storm drain, you become part of’s network which invites you to share stories and photos with neighbors through social media, encouraging others to take action on behalf of local waterways. The quantity of debris you collect will inform annual reports on the collective impact we’ve had on local lakes and streams through the Adopt-a-Storm-Drain program.

It’s obvious that trash, road salt, and chemicals harm lakes and streams, but it may be less clear why “natural” debris like leaves, grass clippings, and fertilizers are also a problem. When it rains, leaves wash into storm drains that flow directly into the nearest lake or river. Decaying leaves and grass release nutrients into the water that feeds excess growth of algae.

If the surface of a lake or river is covered with a green film of algae, it prevents oxygen from reaching the bottom and chokes out native plants and animals. When you adopt a drain, you prevent harmful pollutants of all kinds from entering bodies of water. Sweeping up around drains will help create healthier habitat for all the plants and creatures that depend on our waterways.

[Read more on Clean Water MN]