Students take anti-pollution message to the streets... literally

The students show the marker they're gluing next to the storm drain to warn people not to dump in them. / Whitney Gramling

If you've ever taken a look in a storm drain, you've probably seen trash and debris. What you probably didn't know is that many of those storm drains in the Grand Strand area lead directly to the Atlantic Ocean.

Coastal Carolina University and Lakewood Elementary students want people to know where those storm drains lead, in the hopes it will stop people from trashing them.

Thursday morning, they marked storm drains in the Palmetto Glen subdivision in the Murrells Inlet area with this message: "No Dumping, Drains to Ocean."

Kelly Muench, a CCU student, and Karen Fuss, an environmental educator in the university's Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, led about 120 3rd graders through Palmetto Glen and Ocean Lakes Campground, marking drains.

Muench presented information about local stormwater issues to the classes as part of their service learning project.

The students then helped glue the markers to 150 storm drains. They're also collecting data that will be shared with Horry County's stormwater management department.

The marking program is coordinated through the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium.

$3,000 in funds for 1,000 markers came from the Grand Strand chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Some storm drains lead to our area rivers, those drains are marked with the message: "No Dumping, Drains to River."