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Youth have hand in protecting ocean

CARLSBAD — La Costa Heights Elementary School sixth-graders got busy this year and prepared a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), modeled after a California Regional Water Quality Control Board required Industrial Storm Water Plan.


The plan, when approved by the Encinitas Union School Board of Trustees, will work to reduce Storm Water Pollution from running off campus during rain storms.

The student interns met once a week during their lunch period throughout the school year to develop the plan. They have studied the storm drain system on their campus and how it ties into the city of Carlsbad’s storm drains that lead to Batiquitos Lagoon and the ocean.

Throughout the year, the interns recorded monthly visual observations of five different drains located on campus. During rain events, they collected water samples and sent them to a laboratory for testing. Based on the observations and lab results, the interns know the type of pollutions flowing off campus and the impact it has in the local environment.

With the scientific data as their foundation, the students designed Best Management Practices (BMP) to reduce total suspended solids, high nitrogen and food material from entering the campus storm water system. The presentation to the trustees will include a report of their findings, the design of the BMPs and the costs associated with implementing the BMPs.

The La Costa Heights SWPPP interns will present an 80-page document to the trustees and ask for their signature as commitment to fulfilling the recommendations in the plan at an upcoming special board meeting.


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