2016 POW!* Stormwater Video Contest

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2016 Theme: Stop Trashing Our Water!

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WINNER 2016: Ben Heuser!   


Ben Heuser 2016 POW! Video Contest Winner



High School Students: 

Can YOU inspire others to care about clean water and to prevent litter and careless dumping? 

The 2016 POW!* stormwater video contest is open to all high school students living in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools District, or taking part in activities sponsored by the Town of Chapel Hill’s Youth Council or Teen Center. Students are asked to create a 30-second or 60-second video addressing the 2016 theme: Stop Trashing Our Water!

Productions should be factual, capture viewers’ attention, and motivate people to change behaviors to prevent illegal dumping and littering that affects our local water resources. Videos may be creative and/or instructional, and filmed as a newscast, skit, animation, commercial, reality TV show, spoken arts or music video. Students may use their own or borrowed production equipment, or use free resources at the Chapel Hill Public Library Digital Media Lab.

When producing your video, think safety!   Do not enter floodwaters or storm drains.

Each video contest submission must have completed entry forms and parental authorizations from each video team member.  Deadline for entries is March 14, 2016. 


Contest Rules and Eligibility & Entry Form

Helpful Tips:

The Public Domain Project  YouTube Audio Library   Incompetech.com   www.audionautix.com

Nathan Wills Music   Audio Micro   FreePD.com

Background Resources

[Note: The following references were chosen for their educational value. Though some websites may contain invitations for action, the Town of Chapel Hill leaves such action to viewers' discretion.] 

Local Litter Issues

Clean Jordan Lake

2009 Study: Littering Behavior in America

NCDOT Beautification Program

Report illegal dumping in Orange County, NC



Volunteers with trash



Cigrette Litter Prevention

Keep America Beautiful

Cigarette Waste




trashed drain


Trash and Plastics in Lakes and Oceans
Did you know that plastics and plastic particles are not just trash, but also act as sponges for waterborne contaminants such as pesticides and toxins? When particles are ingested by fish and wildlife, toxins then move up the food chain. If using ocean examples in your video production, please make such references relevant to our local watersheds.

5 Gyres

Smithsonian Ocean Portal

National Geographic: Ocean Trash...

Plastic Particles Harm Freshwater Organisms, Too

Journal of Great Lakes Research: Plastic Debris...



 Did You Know?

  • All creeks in Chapel Hill and Carrboro flow into Jordan Lake, a 14,000-acre recreational area and drinking water reservoir for hundreds of thousands of our neighbors.  It is a backup drinking water source for Chapel Hill/Carrboro. 

  • Since 2009, volunteers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro collected about 15.6 tons of trash during fall cleanups in the Bolin, Booker, Morgan, and Little Creek watersheds.  For more information on our local watersheds, visit Chapel Hill’s Stormwater website.

  • Since 2009, 4,100 volunteers for Clean Jordan Lake have filled 11,000 bags, weighing about 110 tons, and hauled away an astounding 3,800 tires.

  • Over a million people visit Jordan Lake each year to fish, swim, camp, hike, birdwatch, boat and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Jordan Lake drains into the Cape Fear River, which drains into the Atlantic Ocean in Wilmington.  Pollutants from Chapel Hill and Carrboro can travel all the way to the ocean.

  • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation predicts that by the year 2050, the weight of waste plastics in our oceans will be greater than that of all of the fish combined.

  • H.R.1321 - Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 passed into law on 12/28/2015. Plastic microbeads are “unintentional trash” and are contained in many cleansers, toothpastes and soaps. They are small enough to pass through sewage treatment filtration, into creeks, rivers, lakes and oceans.  They absorb toxins and are eaten, poisoning animals up the food chain all the way to humans. Background












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