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Take the Pledge and Leave No Poop Behind

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Take the Pledge and Leave No Poop Behind Local Groups Join Forces to Encourage Clean Waterways

(Hampton Roads, Va., May 15, 2014) – Don’t let your neighborhood—and our local waterways—go to the dogs! That’s the message several groups from across the region have teamed up to promote, beginning this month. Pet waste left on the ground is one of the leading causes of harmful bacteria in the region’s rivers, streams and bay, so askHRgreen.org has joined forces with local animal shelters, watershed restoration groups and animal rights groups to encourage citizens to take the pledge to scoop the poop.

Poop pollutes. In addition to being unsightly, pet waste gets washed into nearby waterways when it rains and becomes a major source of nitrogen and bacteria pollution. This excess nitrogen and bacteria is responsible for cloudy, green, foul-smelling water; aquatic dead zones; declines in local fish and crab populations; and beach closures.

Rob Blizard, executive director of the Norfolk SPCA, came up with the idea of a joint campaign as a project for the leadership development program, Lead Hampton Roads.

“While working on a Lead Hampton Roads team effort to help the Elizabeth River Project, I learned how destructive pet waste is to the river’s ecosystem. So, I reached out to the local animal shelter directors to see if they would be willing to participate in an educational effort on this issue,” said Blizard. “It’s exciting to see so many diverse organizations come together to encourage protection of our waterways.”

Anyone who takes the Scoop the Poop Pledge over the next week will automatically become eligible to win prizes that will include a weekend boarding package at Happy Tails Pet Resort, a one-week subscription to Doody Calls Pet Waste Removal Service, a gift certificate to Mrs. Bones Bowtique, a Super Duper Pooper Scooper from the Elizabeth River Project and River Star Homes and a month of free “Doggy Dips” from The Skinny Dip. Winners will be drawn at random and announced daily through the askHRgreen.org website, May 21-23.

For more info on the pledge and ways to keep Hampton Roads waterways clean, go to askHRgreen.org.

Good to Know!

• From miles away, pet waste washes down storm drains that empty into local waterways. So even if you don’t live on the water, your dog’s droppings are likely to make it to the nearest body of water when it rains.

• Contrary to popular belief, dog poop is not good fertilizer. It’s toxic to your lawn and can be toxic to humans on land as well as in the water.

• Pet waste can spread hookworms, ringworms, tapeworms and other parasites including Giardia and Salmonella. Children are most susceptible since they often play in the dirt.

Good to Do!

• Scoop it, bag it, and trash it each and every time – whether in your own yard or out for a walk.

• Take the Scoop the Poop Pledge and share it with other pet owners in your community.

About HR Green

With a focus on simple steps residents can take to find their “inner green,” HR Green is a region-wide public awareness campaign of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and the 16 cities and counties it serves. The campaign is centered around www.askHRgreen.org, a central, go-to resource for everything green in Hampton Roads. Site features include pages with easy-to-use green practices to implement in your home, yard, business, community and classroom, an interactive calendar highlighting regional events and the “Let’s Talk Green” blog, written by a team of local experts who work in the region’s municipal utility and environmental divisions.

LOOKS LIKE FUN!