streambank stabilization tour photo
Anoka Conservation District staff giving a tour of a streambank stabilization project. Credit: Anoka Conservation District


An educated and informed community can not only prevent pollution in stormwater, but also identify and report illicit discharges or construction activities that may negatively affect stormwater. Therefore, Minimum Control Measure (MCM) 1 of the MS4 General Permit requires every MS4 permittee to run an education and outreach program to teach their community about the impacts of stormwater discharge. The education and outreach program should foster proper stormwater management behaviors.

MS4 General Permit requirements for MCM 1

The MS4 General Permit requires MS4 permittees to:

  • Distribute educational materials focused on high priority, stormwater specific issues and illicit discharge recognition and reporting.
  • Develop an implementation plan that includes target audiences; activities and schedules; measurable goals for each audience; the staff in charge of implementing the plan; coordination with any outside organizations (if any); and an evaluation to measure whether the goals are being, or on track to be, met.
  • Document activities, as described here.


Click on the blue links above in the "MS4 General Permit requirements" section to get more information and resources specific to those permit requirements. In addition, all resources related to MCM 1 are below.

Fact sheets and guidance documents

Fact sheets and guidance documents should provide background information and tips to inform your approach to implementing MCM 1 - Public Education and Outreach.

Documentation and tracking templates

Documentation and tracking templates are examples that local stormwater staff are currently using to meet the MS4 General Permit requirements for MCM 1 - Public Education and Outreach.

Example procedures

Example procedures are those that local stormwater staff are currently using to meet the MS4 General Permit requirements for MCM 1 - Public Education and Outreach.

Educational materials

Below are examples, tools, or other resources to enhance your public education program.


  • EPA Outreach toolbox - EPA's outreach materials that can be used to promote proper stormwater management in your community
  • EPA's Soak Up the Rain Campaign - Provides template and customizable outreach tools and resources to educate and engage your community on the impacts of stormwater pollution and how to help solve the problem
  • Smart Salting Resources - Mississippi Watershed Management Organization's Smart Salting Resources for Educators and Advocates
  • Alex the Frog Environmental Education Series - Hamline University Center for Global Environmental Education's interactive bilingual (English and Spanish) interactive educational website to teach about the impacts of impervious surfaces and stormwater pollution. Contains three series for grades 4-8 including: Water Down the Drain, Urban Water Cycle, and Big Foot


Banners, kits, displays, and activities to borrow

Public Involvement tools and examples

Below are examples, tools, or other resources to enhance your public participation/involvement program.

Adopt a storm drain programs

Adopt a storm drain programs engage individual residents to proactively prevent pollution, like leaves and litter, from reaching stormwater. The programs generally allow residents to choose a storm drain they will keep clean. Residents are typically given educational materials when they first sign-up that include tips related to topics such as smart salting, leaf and litter management, or how to spot an illicit discharge.

Storm drain stenciling programs

Storm drain stenciling is a way involve groups, such scout groups, in your stormwater program while spreading your stormwater message throughout your community. Generally groups identify neighborhoods or specific blocks in your community and spray paint the pavement next to a storm drain with a message about not polluting stormwater.

Community cleanup events

Community clean up events engage individuals and groups. Clean up events can focus on a specific waterbody, like the City of Brooklyn Center's Shingle Creek event, or on overall stormwater protection, such as Tangletown's leaf raking event.

Rain barrel programs