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Toby's Water Warriors

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.
  • Pollution harms aquatic wildlife such as turtles, ducks, fish, frogs, birds, alligators, and otters. 
  • Toby the Turtle, Ollie the Otter, Finn the Fish, Hope the Heron and Gibby the Gator can't survive in a polluted lake.
  • Stormwater runoff is rain that flows over land and 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 lakes, streams, and wetlands. 
  • Stormwater runoff is now considered the greatest source of pollution to Florida's lakes, streams, and wetlands.
  • Construction sites, improperly stored hazardous waste, and illegal dumping are all potential sources of stormwater runoff pollution. 
  • Never dump anything down a storm drain. 

Adopt-a-Lake or Adopt-a-Road

Find out how, contact sandra.pope@lakelandgov.net

Help Keep Lakeland Litter Free 

  • Trash thrown out of car windows easily travels 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. Remember, Only Rain Goes Down the Drain"!                                                                         -Toby


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.