Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, firstname.lastname@example.org, 804-786-5045.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 05, 2007
Contact: Gary Waugh, DCR Public Relations Manager, (804) 786-5045, email@example.com
“Chesapeake Club” water quality campaign hits the airwaves
(Richmond) --- An innovative awareness campaign urging homeowners to do their part to help local rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay hits Richmond airwaves today. The “Chesapeake Club” campaign focuses on the connection between individual lawn care and the health of local rivers and streams. It does so using humor and by engaging them through their enjoyment of the Chesapeake lifestyle and its seafood. The campaign is also running in Hampton Roads.
“This campaign takes a humorous look at a serious concern,” said Joseph H. Maroon, director of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “While many people are concerned about local water quality and the Bay, they aren’t aware that their actions – such as how they fertilize their lawn – can have an impact. This campaign helps show that link and offers homeowners one simple way that they can help improve our waters.”
The campaign was developed by the Chesapeake Bay Program and had a successful two-year run in the Washington, D.C. market. As a Bay Program partner, DCR has been involved with Chesapeake Club since its inception. It is coming to Richmond as the result of a partnership with state, federal and local governments. Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties and the city of Richmond have signed on as Chesapeake Club partners.
“Making the average person aware that their actions can affect local water quality is a message we have been working to get out there,” said Dick McElfish, Chesterfield County Director of Environmental Engineering. “Chesapeake Club gives us an opportunity to share resources with neighboring localities and others to reach a much larger audience with a coordinated message.”
The Richmond and Hampton Roads campaigns are jointly funded by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Chesapeake Bay Program Implementation Grant funds. DCR is coordinating the effort.
Television and newspaper advertisements ask homeowners to wait until fall to fertilize their lawns. Local government partners are working with local restaurants and lawn care services to help spread the same message. The club’s website offers additional tips on Bay friendly lawn care while giving useful information on enjoying the area’s rivers, streams and nearby Bay.
Excess nutrients, including those contained in common fertilizer, are the leading cause of water quality problems in local tidal rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, according to Bay Program scientists. Fall is the best time to use lawn fertilizer when grass can better use the nutrients in strengthening their root system for long term growth.
For more information about the Chesapeake Club campaign, including sample ads and a list of local restaurants and lawn care providers supporting the effort, visit. www.chesapeakeclub.org.
(Editor: Please contact Gary Waugh to coordinate quotes from other local partners.)