In an effort to protect the bays and waterways, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray has launched an initiative aimed at preventing pet waste from entering storm drains and negatively impacting the environment. Hempstead Town is seeking volunteers to help place medallions on storm drains, reminding neighbors to refrain from improperly dumping waste.
“Whether you are a pet owner or just a friend to the environment, you can help keep our waterways safe from the risks associated with improper disposal of pet waste,” Murray said. “Failure to clean up after your pet can result in contamination of waterways and shell fishing areas.”
When pet waste is not properly disposed of, it can wash into storm drains, which carry the waste to local bays, streams and waterways. Untreated animal feces can become a significant source of runoff pollution, and pose hazards to health, the environment and wildlife. To minimize risks and reduce pollution, the town recommends taking the following precautions: pick up and properly dispose of pet waste (do not bury waste in vegetable gardens) and have pets examined by a veterinarian on an annual basis to check for the presence of intestinal parasites.
To boost efforts to protect bays and waterways, Hempstead Town is seeking individuals and groups to place medallions at storm drain locations across America’s largest township. All volunteers will be provided with medallions, gloves and adhesive. Additionally, volunteers will receive training on how to install the medallions, along with maps of the storm drain locations where the items are to be placed.
To learn more about the program, or to volunteer, call Hempstead Town’s Department of Conservation and Waterways at (516) 897-4113.
“In the Town of Hempstead, we love our pets, but we also love our environment,” Murray said. “We’re committed to being environmentally responsible and ecologically friendly and are asking neighbors to join us in our efforts to keep our township clean and beautiful. Remember, only rain should go down the drain.”