Fish and Frogs Forever program
Fish and Frogs Forever is an educational program designed to provide information about the impacts of water pollution on local aquatic ecosystems. In Kingston, most of the water that goes down storm drains enters local waterways including Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, the Cataraqui River and Little Cataraqui Creek without filtration and treatment, ending up directly in the ecosystem. As most of Kingston's drinking water comes from Lake Ontario, these pollutants can affect us as well as the aquatic ecosystem.
- Help ensure healthy habitat for fish, amphibians, birds and insects
- Protect the integrity of our aquatic ecosystems and drinking water sources
- Raise awareness of the source of storm-water pollutants and reduce illegal dumping
- Create a lasting reminder about the importance of local aquatic ecosystems and the harmful effects of pollutants
- Remind individuals that their actions, collectively, make a great difference and that dumping waste materials into road-side storm drains is not acceptable
Did you know?
- Almost all of Kingstons drinking water comes directly from Lake Ontario before it is treated and pumped through serviced parts of the City.
- Juvenile fish and frogs are especially vulnerable to storm-water pollutants.
- Protection of stormwater quality is important because Kingston's numerous wetlands provide preferred habitat for fish, frogs and other amphibians.
- Climate change and invasive species also put stress on the aquatic environment.
What can you do?
- Never dump unused liquids or wash water down a storm drain or on a city street.
- If you smoke, use an ashtray. Discarded cigarette butts get washed into the stormwater system.
- Pick up after your pet. This prevents harmful bacteria from polluting storm water.
- Plant flowers and trees on your lawn to prevent run-off.
- Dispose of household hazardous waste, including motor oil and paint thinners, at the Kingston Area Recycling Centre, 196 Lappan's Lane (open Thursdays and Saturdays, April through November).
- Take your car or boat to a commercial car wash where your wash water goes to the sanitary sewer for treatment. If you have to wash a vehicle or boat in your driveway, consider using a sponge and bucket to reduce water use and storm-water run-off and always avoid harmful cleaning chemicals.
- Do not use pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. Weed by hand.
- Sweep soil and vegetation away from pavement and storm drains to reduce silt from entering rivers and streams.
- Use rain barrels to collect storm water and to help water your lawn and garden.
Fish & Frogs Forever classroom component:
You may have seen a fish or frog painted beside a storm drain recently. They are there to remind you that what goes down the storm drain goes directly into Kingston's streams, lakes and wetlands - home to fish, frogs and other wildlife sensitive to pollutants like soap, fertilizer, oil, paint and animal waste.
The City of Kingston and the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) are excited to present the Fish and Frogs Forever classroom program - a half-day educational program for school and youth groups within Kingston. Children will paint fish - and frog-shaped door hangers to place in their home. This will provide a lasting reminder about local aquatic ecosystems and the importance pollutants play in them.
Since 2008 the Fish & Frogs Forever classroom program has been composed of four main components:
- Presentations - Volunteers trained by the Society of Conservation Biology present to the group and cover local water topics. View the presentation
- Painting visual reminders - Participants in the program (usually groups of school aged children) paint yellow fish and green frog icons beside storm drains to remind the community that liquids that go down the storm drain go straight to our lakes and rivers without treatment and could harm our aquatic ecosystems.
- Distributing door hangers - The colourful door hangers are shaped as fish and frogs and contain both local information about our storm-drain system and action-oriented messages on how individuals can help minimize their impact on the local water system.
- Wearing the message - Providing volunteers and others with "in demand" T-shirts with the colourful Fish & Frogs message on the back.