In this photo, you see the storm drain mural, almost complete, with a hand-painted, blue ocean background, a red lobster, white bubbles, and a dark blue City of Salem, MA witch fishing by a white crescent moon and stars from their broom, with a big fish on the fishing pole line. Under the grate in white lettering it says: "Salem Sound Coastwatch." It says in green lettering in the top left: "Don't pollute!!!" and at the bottom of the mural: "Drains to ocean . Drena hacia el oceano . Drena para o oceano . S'ecule a l'ocean." A used, blue paint brush is next to the brown grate.

Mural to Raise Pollution Awareness

Our wastewater treatment plant is located along Salem Sound, right on the water near Winter Island. Current campers from the island and Salem residents who own RVs may access our RV Disposal Station with an incredible ocean view. Unfortunately, some people who dump here may accidentally spill their RV waste which could flow directly into Salem Sound through the rainwater-only storm drain located nearby.

A before photo of the storm drain. It has a brown, metal grate surrounded by black asphalt with a smattering of dead grass, leaves, and debris around it. In yellow, capital lettering it says: "No Dumping."
Before the Mural

We wanted to try a new approach to encourage better behavior through education and outreach. On August 17, 2023, an intern of the Salem Sound Coastwatch, Sophia Butusova, joined SESD in our effort to protect our storm drain from unauthorized dumping. Sophia designed and painted the mural seen here, with “Drains to Ocean” written in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. Mixing our classic witch city theme with environmental protection, we hope to garner attention to this important issue and see a reduction and ultimately an elimination of unauthorized dumping into our surrounding waters. We sincerely thank Sophia for her fantastic help and look forward to partnering with Salem Sound Coastwatch in the future for other murals and educational initiatives.