Rain Barrel Academy Summary Report

On August 3, 2015, the Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation was awarded a grant in the amount of $3,000 by the Board of Directors of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation to help cover specific costs related to equipment and supplies for rain barrel education programs. The grant funds contributed to the overall success of the rain barrel education programs that were performed by Surfrider.

Between August 13, 2015 and August 9, 2017, Surfrider volunteers hosted or co-hosted four (4) Rain Barrel Workshops in Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey where participants would attend an informative workshop on how rain barrels capture and conserve water, how they reduce polluted stormwater runoff, and how the barrels are installed at one’s home. Additionally, participants would assist in constructing their own rain barrels from recycled plastic drums and be able to take those rain barrels home to self-install at their property.

The following table summarizes the four (4) Rain Barrel Workshops and additional rain barrel raffle that occurred within the timeframe specified in this summary.

In addition to 64 barrels that were constructed, 70 people were engaged during the workshops.

According to data provided by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, an average rain barrel will conserve approximately 1,400-gallons of water per year during the normal watering season (April through October). With this data, we approximate that these workshops will divert 89,600-gallons of rainwater per year back into groundwater aquifers that would otherwise runoff into nearby surface water bodies. This provides the compounded benefit of providing a free water source to hydrate the user’s plants, while also diverting polluted runoff from entering over-burdened sewer systems or discharging directly into nearby lakes, streams, and the ocean.

The Norcross grant not only allowed us to educate and empower the public as we strive for a cleaner, healthier environment, but also enabled Surfrider to expand its partnerships with a variety of like-minded citizens and progressive organizations. The Jersey Shore Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation would like to recognize the generosity of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation whose funds enabled us to make large strides forward within our local Ocean Friendly Gardens program.