SAN LUIS OBISPO — Representatives from the SLO County Integrated Waste Management Authority, the incorporated cities and the County launched the “Central Coast Clean” anti-littering campaign.

Local agencies recently teamed up across the County on a new campaign to increase awareness and encourage habits that prevent litter. In partnership with the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA), representatives from the stormwater programs of all seven cities and the County created the Central Coast Clean campaign to educate the public about the harmful impacts of litter and promote alternative practices.

“The impact of litter on our creeks, beaches, rivers and lakes is very real,” said Benjamin A. Fine, Director of Public Works/City Engineer for the City of Pismo Beach. “We can’t rely on voluntary cleanups alone. We need to stop litter at the source and prevent it from affecting our landscapes and reaching our waterways.”

The Central Coast Clean campaign features iconic local destinations. It incorporates memorable plays on local names and landmarks to discourage littering and direct community members and visitors toward more sustainable practices. A $25,000 grant from the IWMA funded the campaign’s creation, with advertising costs supported with contributions from each of the cities and County.

“We are so pleased to be partnering on a county-wide campaign, and that we can feature our distinct local landmarks and character,” said Kate Ballantyne, Deputy Director for County Public Works. “The partnership with IWMA has been a terrific opportunity to merge and scale-up smaller anti-littering efforts and produce a consistent and recognizable message across the County.”

In the coming weeks, the Central Coast Clean campaign will roll out advertisements across social media platforms and through targeted web advertisements. Campaign messages tailored to each community will appear on social media platforms and across digital media and the RTA busses that crisscross the County. The second wave of advertisements will appear in the spring, ahead of the summer season, when tourism throughout the County tends to peak.

“Residents and visitors alike have expressed how they cherish the beauty of destinations across our County, and we want to protect those important resources. This campaign takes the first step of reminding everyone that allowing just one little wrapper, bottle cap, or container to become litter has an impact that really adds up across the landscape,” said Freddy Otte, SLO City Biologist.

The Central Coast Clean campaign is expected to last for up to five years as municipalities across the County work to meet new state-mandated litter reduction requirements. The campaign was produced by JPW Communications based in Carlsbad, following a competitive proposal process that drew interest from several design and communications firms.

“We expected this would be a popular campaign concept, and the proposals we received reflected strong interest in educating the public about this important issue,” noted Freddy Otte, SLO City Biologist.

People can see more by searching the hashtag #CentralCoastClean or @slostormwater on social media accounts and or through these websites:

www.instagram.com/slostormwater

www.facebook.com/slostormwater

Getting through this together, Atascadero