Results are in from the first San Mateo Countywide FlowsToBay High School Green Infrastructure Contest. This contest was open to high school students and probed them to learn about stormwater pollution and green infrastructure solutions through creating a green infrastructure proposal for their high school campus, which addressed a specific environmental or water quality issue that affects their school community.


The winning proposal was submitted by four students in Ms. Stephanie Owens’ Biology and Environmental Science...

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Hummingbirds are welcome visitors to many gardens, but can be challenging to attract. Hummingbirds prefer native species for nesting, so it is a good idea to use native plants in your garden if you want attract these beautiful creatures in your backyard. Besides their good looks, Hummingbirds also serve an important purpose by pollinating the plants in your garden. While some plants are pollinated by the wind or are self-pollinating, the vast majority rely on species like hummingbirds to carry pollen from one individual plant to another. When a...

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Are you looking to update your garden to be more lush and eco-friendly this summer? We have a few tips to ensure your garden will be healthy and thrive in our northern California conditions.


With warm, dry summer months in Northern California’s unique climate zone and our proximity to local waterways in San Mateo County, it is important to take into consideration Bay Friendly gardening. Bay-Friendly gardening is a holistic approach to gardening and landscaping that works in harmony with the natural...

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As California continues to experience a long-term drought, we want to make sure you have all the facts and get to know some great alternatives before you turn on that garden hose!


The Facts

  • Each car wash at home can use up to 150 gallons.
  • If every person washed their car at home 2 times a year, that could amount to 210,000,000 gallons of water consumed annually, just for washing cars!
  • Home car washing results in soap and pollutants in local waterways.



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Spring is a time for sunshine, flowers, new growth and exploring the outdoors. Get outside and join a community cleanup event and help preserve our local waterways and environment. On or around Earth Day on April 22nd, neighborhood litter pickup events, habitat restorations, graffiti abatement and other general sprucing up activities take place. Help capture trash before it goes into the storm drain!

Once in the storm drain, litter easily flows directly to our creeks, Bay, beaches and ocean. Find a spring cleanup event near you at...

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On Coastal Cleanup Day 2014, volunteers picked up an astonishing 13,036 cigarette butts in San Mateo County! Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter picked up on this day both in San Mateo County and internationally. Littered cigarette butts are easily washed, blown, or flicked down storm drains that lead straight into local creeks, the Bay and the Ocean. These unsightly cigarette butts never disappear because they are made of plastic and do
not biodegrade. According to a recent study published in the journal...

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Matt Fabry, Manager of the San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program, knows how to make a garden grow—plant a seed. 


In 2009 he did just that. Facing rising concern over polluted stormwater running into local waterways, the Countywide Program joined forces with Portland, Oregon-based landscape architects Nevue Ngan Associates to publish the San Mateo County Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook


The guide...

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Bacteria from unattended dog waste contaminates local beaches


Sometimes being at the top is the last place you want to be. San Mateo County learned that lesson recently when a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that our local beaches have the second highest level of bacteria in California. One of the suspects? Your pooch. Or more specifically, your pooch’s poop.


Unsightly and Unsafe


We all know how unpleasant it is to mistakenly...

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The Ocean covers 97 percent of the Earth. That’s 321,003,271 cubic miles according to NOAA. Thus, in celebrating Earth Day, it makes sense to acknowledge not only land, but the sea as well.


Here are three ways to show your love for our oceans, as we strive to keep them pollution-free. 


Use less plastic


Plastic is the biggest polluter of the world’s...

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In the early 1900s, Joyce Kilmer wrote in a now famous poem about trees, “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.” California faces a bit of a tree crisis now as more than 100 million trees in its forests have died in recent years. What’s the cause of this massive tree mortality? Scientists from the U.S. Forest Service say it’s likely from back-to-back years of severe drought. Now with all the rain after this long period of drought, some trees are at risk to toppling...

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