Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced an Northern Ireland Environment Agency 'Yellow Fish' campaign; a simple water pollution prevention tool that aims to both raise awareness of water pollution and positively engage local communities and businesses.
The Minister made his announcement during a visit to Ballyclare, where over the past number of years there have been a series of pollution incidents.
The campaign involves stakeholders marking footpaths and kerbs near surface water drains with a Yellow Fish symbol, to communicate the message "only rain down the drain". It is hoped that this simple, visual prompt will remind people that what is put down those drains flows directly to the nearest waterway, thus causing pollution and environmental damage.
The marking of storm drains will be led by the Six Mile Water Trust, which is a Rivers Trust that has a keen focus on pollution prevention and monitoring water quality. Other volunteers include County Antrim Countryside Custodians, Ballynure Angling Club, Ballyclare Primary School, School, and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
Welcoming the launch of the 'Yellow Fish' campaign, Minister Poots said: "Pollution of watercourses can cause deterioration in the quality of our water environment, contributing to acute or long-term damage. We are often unaware of how our actions are connected to and potential impacts on a nearby watercourse, particularly what we put down our drains.
"The Yellow Fish campaign is a fun and simple way to raise awareness of whether a nearby watercourse will be impacted by what we put down our drains, and promote the key message of "only rain down the drain.
"We hope that this will be the first of many Yellow Fish campaigns, and look forward to seeing Yellow Fish appearing in the area and contribute to improving the local water environment."
This NIEA campaign has been co-ordinated with the help of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, NI Water, DfI Roads and DfI Rivers.
Further information, including how to start a 'Yellow Fish' campaign, can be found on the DAERA website.