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A lesson in clean storm water

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) -  Pollution experts say it is as easy as cleaning up your yard to avoid killing fish in the bayous and rivers. They're also asking residents to help stop any illegal activity near the storm water drains, such as someone draining motor oil or even detergent.

A public meeting about the tips was held at Monroe City Hall to a grim turnout.

"This is just a way to keep our waterways clean," Planning and Regional Development Director Chris Fisher said.

The trash, lining the areas where storm water makes its way to the drains, is still a cause for concern.

"Watch what goes into your ditch," Environmentalist Rick Masters said.

During heavy rainfall, flood waters raise eyebrows of hundreds of homeowners. Although city leaders say they're working on a comprehensive drainage plan, some residents may be the blame for some of the problems.

"Anything that occurs in terms of litter, trash, and all of that, potentially is a pollutant and it gets conveyed to our local rivers and bayous," Masters said.

Environmentalists also touched on a common act of cutting the grass. The clippings, they say, pose a problem if they're not disposed of correctly.

"The best thing to do is leave your clippings on your yard. Let it me manure for you instead of blowing it in the streets," Fisher said.

Those who attended, learned a quick lesson on ways to protect their surroundings.

"If you wouldn't put it directly into the bayou, then you should also not put it into your ditch," Masters said.

Environmentalists say the turnout is typically small this time of year. Post flooding events typically turn the heads of residents to a meeting about storm water.

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