At the October 3rd Adirondack Champlain Regional Salt Summit in Lake George, AdkAction announced the launch of a new campaign to educate and empower the public about the issue of road salt pollution. Ausable River Association is a partner in the initiative.
The ‘Clean Water Safe Roads’ campaign encourages responsible salt application practices for households, businesses, and municipalities in the Adirondack region. Both residents and visitors to the area can learn about the ways road salt can contaminate nearby water bodies, harm aquatic life, and damage cars, bridges, and drinking water.
“Our work to reduce road salt in the Adirondacks began over a decade ago,” said AdkAction Executive Director Sawyer Bailey. “We’ve made huge progress working with municipal leaders who have signed our Pledge to Reduce Road Salt and highway departments who have joined our Clean Water Safe Roads Network. But we know that there are many members of the general public who have not closely followed this issue, and we want to empower them to take action.”
AdkAction Project Coordinator Hannah Grall conducted focus groups and surveys this summer to find out what residents and visitors to the Adirondacks already know about the issue. “While most respondents knew that road salt could negatively impact the water in lakes and streams, many were unaware that salt can leach into groundwater and affect the quality of drinking water. We also found that there were common misconceptions about road salt vs. sand and the ways that municipalities can maintain safe winter driving conditions while reducing salt use.”
“We’re excited to team up with AdkAction to launch this outreach campaign,” said Ausable River Association Executive Director, Kelley Tucker. “With our colleagues at PSCAWI, we’ve collected data on lake, stream, and groundwater contamination from winter road maintenance practices in Mirror Lake, the Cascade Lakes and beyond. Our goal is to ensure that science informs practical solutions and monitors success.”
Campaign Highlights Include:
AdkAction.org/salt provides easy access to campaign educational materials, best practices, and guidelines for reducing salt usage during winter. Individuals and business owners can take a Clean Water Pledge, taking action to keep salt from contaminating our water. Pledge participants will receive a “Clean Water Safe Roads” car magnet or sticker to help spread the word. Municipalities can learn more about how their highway departments can join AdkAction’s Clean Water Safe Roads Network.
#Don’tBeSaltyADK posts will be shared across social media platforms and will include tips for sharing the road with a plow, facts about salt pollution, and advice for sustainable salting at homes and small businesses.
Video PSA: AdkAction created several public service announcement videos to share facts about the impact excessive salt application has on our environment and health in the Adirondacks. The first video can be watched on AdkAction’s YouTube channel:
Giveaways: The campaign will be a presence at regional events and venues this winter, including winter carnivals, ski areas, and visitor centers. At these events, fun and practical giveaway items will include “Don’t Be Salty ADK” stickers, “Clean Water Safe Roads” winter hats, and salt shakers that will help homeowners to avoid oversalting their walkways.
The Clean Water Safe Roads campaign is supported by North Elba’s Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund (LEAF), which provides funds for programs, activities, and facilities that directly benefit our communities and improve the quality of place for both residents and visitors.
All Adirondack residents, businesses, and visitors are invited to join this effort to reduce road salt pollution and protect water quality in our region for generations to come. For more information about the Clean Water Safe Roads public outreach campaign and to get involved, please visit AdkAction.org/salt .
AdkAction is a member-supported nonprofit. Our projects address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the natural beauty of the Adirondacks for all. Learn more about our work at www.AdkAction.org.
The Ausable River Association helps communities protect our streams and lakes in the Ausable watershed and other Adirondack watersheds. Learn more at www.AusableRiver.org.