Contra Costa Clean Water Program

Goal

Research the residents of Contra Costa County to figure out what motivates and prevents them from doing things that would stop stormwater pollution.

Challenge

Whittle down a diverse population, a vast number of pollution-prevention behaviors and infinite outreach possibilities into a summary that fit the entire county.

What We Did

They say you should always know your audience. Whoever they are, they’re right. That’s why we hit the streets to survey more than 500 residents. We also held a focus group to dig deeper into what motivated people to change and held them back. We listened, questioned and learned to write really fast. Through our discussions, we learned that people care more about their pets and kids than the environment; men hate weeds, while women hate bugs; eco-certified products were believed to be ineffective and just about no one asked what their pest control operators were spraying.

Results

A 3-year comprehensive plan that spoke to the concerns of our audience, met permit requirements and effectively addressed the problem of pesticide overuse from multiple angles.