Starting in the fall 2018, a dedicated SBB volunteer began the reconnaissance of recycled plastic 55 gallon drums. These drums are most abundant at all of our local marinas throughout Barnegat Bay in the fall and winter filled with non-toxic marine antifreeze. It is our goal to collect and re-purpose these drums into rain barrels.
Rain barrels are simply containers that collect rain water. Frequently, home owners will redirect the down spouts of their gutters into a rain barrel. Collected rain water can be reused to water ornamental gardens, fill bird baths, wash cars, and more! In addition rain barrels slow stormwater runoff before it carries waste and excess nutrients into the waterways.
At the Barnegat Bay EcoCenter, we conduct free workshops for the public throughout the year. During these workshops, participants not only leave with a fully constructed rain barrel, but they also receive tools and knowledge to continue creating a smart yard for a healthy bay.
This year, our first ever Rain Barrel-a-Rama was a huge success! Save Barnegat Bay was able to gather over 100 barrels from local marinas and businesses. With the help of a rental U-Haul truck and some partners and volunteers with vehicles, we transported all of the drums to the Barnegat Bay EcoCenter where volunteers and staff will drill, cut, wash, and prepare them for the workshops this spring and summer. If these installed barrels fill at least three times during a given year, that is over 50,000 gallons of stormwater captured and reused!
We could not have been as successful without the help of dedicated volunteers with their time and vehicles. Save Barnegat Bay is so grateful! In addition, we could not have done it without the cooperation of the businesses with their time and resources to help us gather the barrels.
Believe it or not, there is still a long way to go! If you or someone you know has 55 gallon plastic drums that were filled with marine antifreeze or other non toxic material and you would like to drop them off at the EcoCenter, feel free to call 732-830-3600. If you know you will have barrels in the future, and want to be added to our Rain Barrel-a-Rama roster, please email Graceanne Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to volunteer to move or drill more barrels, there are still more to be picked up! Sign up to be volunteer and let us know you want to help with rain barrels here. Lastly, don’t forget to find out about our free rain barrel workshops on our calendar of events.
Shout out to our dedicated volunteers Ray, Tori, Jacqui, Lou, Rich, Kevin, Will, Brick, Lauren, and Sarah for their time and vehicles!
Thank you again to all of this year’s participants that are helping to protect Barnegat Bay!