The Yellow Fish Road™ program is a nation-wide environmental education initiative launched by Trout Unlimited Canada. The program is a fun, participatory way to teach the importance of clean water and to demonstrate how the decisions of one person can make a difference on a whole community, by painting yellow fish near storm drains and distributing fish-shaped brochures.
The program has had great success with over 60, 000 volunteers in Canada participating in the program since its launch in 1991, including over 23 groups from Halton. It has also been initiated internationally in countries like the United States, Australia and Scotland.
How does the program work?
- Learning: participants find their local water supply and explore how hazardous wastes can find their way into this water source.
- Action: participants "make a difference" by painting yellow fish near storm drains to serve as a reminder that any materials entering the storm drain affect our water sources. Participants also distribute "fish hangers" on doors in their neighbourhood to educate the community about their actions and the rationale behind Yellow Fish Road™.
What's a Storm Drain?
Storm drains or catch basins are located along the edges of roadways. Rainwater is collected by the storm drains and flows in an underground pipe system exiting via an outfall into local creeks, streams, rivers or lakes. Water flowing over lawns, driveways, gardens, roadways and sidewalks pick up debris and flows untreated into the storm drains. Storm water is the water from rainstorms or melting snow that drains into catch basins or storm drains.
Why is Yellow Fish Road TM important?
In most municipalities, water and materials entering storm drains do not get filtered at a water treatment plant before entering our streams and rivers. Unlike the drains in our sinks and toilets, storm water drains directly into the local waterbody.
Fish, and in particular rainbow trout, are remarkable indicator species. Once trout are unable to frequent an area, it is an indicator that the water in that area is unsafe for human use.
The impact of this program can be enormous. If the Yellow Fish Road™ prevents one person from pouring a litre of paint down a storm drain this directly benefits the community's water source for drinking water, commerce and recreation. It also provides tremendous benefits to animal and aquatic species who use the river for food, shelter and reproductive purposes.
Great! You've decided to do the Yellow Fish Road Program TM ! What's next?
Choose a neighbourhood along with possible dates for painting and contact Conservation Halton. Conservation Halton co-ordinates the Yellow Fish Road TM program on behalf of its partners, the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville. Conservation Halton will provide further information, equipment and advice on how to organize your Yellow Fish Road TM day.
905.336.1158 extension 284
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