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“Brainstorming” Our Drainage & Other Thoughts

Brainstorming Our Drainage and Other Ideas

So, we have a lot of storm drains in various areas of Town.

If you go walking around Town for even a few blocks you will likely pass at least one, if not more.

Storm drainage infrastructure is boring, but those boring things we take for granted are often the most

important.  Even though storm drains are boring, they are also very important and expensive.

Yet, its not something most people even think about or notice—until it fails somewhere near you.

Then, it does start to seem much more important, especially when you need to buy rain boots to get to your mailbox for up a month (shout out to our Patient Poinsettia-ns),!

However, we also have lots of active folks in Town, from joggers, to walkers with strollers and dogs, skaters, cruiser-bikers, and our early morning cyclists, too.

And we also have a lot of kids in school who routinely, every year, need those “service hours,” and their busy parents who drive them to and from various places and events, seeking that 1-2 hours here or there, all year, every year, for that 25+ hour (minimum) magic number they all need!

For those that don’t know, many schools in Brevard County public and private (like West Shore where my 14 year attends), have a service hour requirements for the kids who must  volunteer in the Community in some capacity and attain at least 25 total hours of volunteer work. The parents often drive them around town, sometime great distances to and from, and even themselves stay and volunteer as well.

Its a great thing for the kids to learn, volunteering.

The surf rider foundation often has periodic, organized beach cleanups which are a great way to get those service hours while also cleaning up our beaches too.

But I was thinking, “brainstorming our drainage” and trying to think of ideas and cost savings,  efficiencies, and outreach/engagement—and I thought….What If….what if we could marry our problems and needs with our assets, and find a win, win?


1. We have a constant need to clear away simple debris buildup at our storm drains, before and after rain and storm events.

2.  We also have a need for periodic, even pictorial assessments of our storm drains in general, and also specifically immediately following heavy rain events and/or flooding

We also have Assets and Needs including:

  1. Our daily walkers and bikers,

  2. Our kids needing service hours, and their parents losing time driving to and from

  3. Our Town Websites and Town Newsletters,

  4. Our Amazing Volunteers Boards, and Employees, and their resources, knowledge, and guidance, such as the Parks Department and our Environmental Advisory Board.

What if we created a

  1. “Citizens for Clean StormDrains Club” and/or

  2. "Citizens StormDrains Assessment Crews"

The name/s monikers don’t matter.  We can play with and figure it out as we go.

The essence of idea is to try to create or encourage a group of people who go out periodically as an organized effort at times for that “Service Hour Credit” to clean storm drains in various areas of Town.

The kids get hours, locally close to home, with parental supervision and involvement, and get out to know to each other while also learning about our expensive but important storm drains.

While the Town and residents get a small but free benefit from cleaner storm drains.

Sure, the storm drains will just clog again with debris build up.  But still it’s something. By keeping those drains a little LESS clogged more often, maybe the water backups in various areas wont be as bad, or last as often.

Also, for those older folks who might want to help out but for whom bending over to pick up old leaves or sticks clogging those drains is a little dicey, they too can participate simply by taking a few pictures every few months from their phones of whichever drains are nearby (especially right after a big rain event).

Over time this too could be helpful for the Town in terms of cataloging our drains, drainage and streets.  So this would be my - “Citizens StormDrains Assessment Crew/s.”

We have an amazing volunteer Environmental Advisory Board and Parks Board too, and great employees in our Parks Department as well.   

We also have variety of active residents.

Let’s join these assets and resources.

Its can be educational too.

Maybe we could even get Grant Money for it?

It at least has the potential to provide some benefit even if small at NO cost to the Town.

Just an idea.

Here is another Idea:

Different streets or areas in Town sometimes have unique issues.

For example, if you live on Oak Street, or Riverside Drive, you have unique traffic issues others don’t suffer from.

If you live on 1st Ave or Ave A, you also may have some distinct issues.

If you are next to a loud and busy Air BnB you too have  unique concerns not felt by others.

Ditto on drainage.

As a Community though we need to listen to and try to address everyone’s issues.

So I’ve been saying for some time, we ought to encourage these neighborhoods within neighborhoods, or these Street Specific Special Interest Groups to get together amongst themselves, discuss their issues, and then periodically, as a Commission we ought to set aside some dedicated time to listen to their concerns and brainstorm solutions.

Again, the moniker does not matter.

But making time to listen to these Uniquely Concerned Citizens groups is our duty.

Another Idea:

A Citizen Advisory Group.  This idea came from a resident I met while walking through Town.

I’ll do another post on that one soon to elaborate.

I would like to do a post soon on some ideas for using our websites and newsletter, and our wonderful police officers and fireman for some kind of periodic “Safety Reminders” to kids and parents about being careful and slowing down just a bit on those electric scooters when passing walkers and how to politely alert someone before passing so you don’t scare them.

That’s all for now.

Thank for reading.

Alison “Al” Dennington

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