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Toby's Water Warriors


Why is stormwater pollution a problem?

  • Litter and pollution can travel through storm drains during rain events and end up in the lakes that we use for swimming, fishing, or boating. 

  • Pollution can harm aquatic wildlife such as turtles, ducks, fish, frogs, birds, alligators, and otters. 

  • Toby the Turtle and his friends, Ollie the Otter, Finn the Fish, and Hope the Heron, can't survive in a polluted lake.

  • Stormwater runoff is rain that flows over land and impervious (hard) surfaces such as paved streets, parking lots, and buildings. It does not soak into the ground.

  • Runoff can pick up and deposit harmful pollutants like trash, chemicals, fertilizer, and dirt/sediment into streams, lakes, and wetlands. 

  • Stormwater runoff is now considered the greatest source of pollution to Florida's lakes, streams and wetlands.

  • Constructions sites, improperly stored hazardous waste, and illegal dumping are all potential sources of stormwater runoff pollution. 

  • Never dump anything down a storm drain. 


Did You Know?

 Phosphorus Nutrients

Excess nutrients in fertilizer, pet waste and yard waste (grass clippings, etc.) can cause algae blooms which reduce the amount of oxygen in the water. Fish and other aquatic life can't exist in the water without sufficient oxygen levels, and low oxygen levels often lead to fish kills and the inability for aquatic plants to grow.  


Toxins in pesticides may kill native plants and animals. 

Garbage Can

Garbage, such as plastic bags and bottles, and cigarette butts , are washed into the lakes and streams which can choke or suffocate aquatic life such as ducks, fish, turtles and birds.  

Growing plant

Dirt can cloud the water or cover the bottom of a lake or stream, and make it difficult for aquatic plants to grow and fish to breathe. 


Bacteria and other harmful pathogens in stormwater runoff can make it unhealthy to swim, boat or fish in a lake or stream.  

hazardous household item

Household hazardous wastes such as used motor oil, paint, and pesticides can poison aquatic life. Animals and people can become sick from eating diseased fish and shellfish.  

Toby's Water Warriors

Did you know that when trash is thrown out the car window, it can easily travel through storm drains during rain events? Litter, such as plastic bottles, cups, straws, and fast food containers, is carried away by stormwater and ends up polluting lakes, streams and other wetland areas. This can harm aquatic wildlife like ducks, fish, turtles, birds and swans.

“Become a Toby's Water Warrior and take the pledge against litter! We can all help Keep Lakeland Beautiful and litter-free!”