Evaluation of outreach and public education in raising awareness of waterfront community roles in controlling nonpoint pollution around the Mosquito Lagoon, Florida
Nonpoint source pollution from residential areas is one of the potential factors for algal blooms in estuaries, which has cascading negative effects on estuarine water quality and ecosystems. The goal for this study is to assess the impact of public education on the roles of waterfront communities’ in contributing and controlling nonpoint source pollution. Educational exhibits, workshops, and personal interactions with waterfront homeowners were conducted in order to raise awareness of surface runoff effects from waterfront yards on estuarine ecosystems. Pre- and post-surveys were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the education methods. The study area was the northern watershed of the Mosquito Lagoon, FL. Survey results supported the idea that public education raises the public understanding of the importance of their individual actions on the ecosystem and water quality and demonstrates the importance of environmental education in watershed-scale ecosystem restoration.
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