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Nonpoint Source Outreach Toolbox

Frequent Questions

This page explains how to use the Toolbox to get the results that you are looking for. First, select a question of interest:

Catalog Search

Catalog Search Results


Pop-up Boxes

Media Files

Catalog Search

How do I search the catalog?

Access the catalog by clicking on Catalog Search on the navigation bar on the left.

To execute a catalog search properly, you must specify at least one NPS topic (Step 1) and at least one media type to search on (Step 2). Available media formats include Radio Ads, TV Ads, Print Materials, and Other Products. The six NPS topics of outreach materials are:

  • General Stormwater and Storm Drain Awareness
  • Lawn and Garden Care
  • Pet Care
  • Motor Vehicle Care
  • Household Chemicals and Waste
  • Septic System Care

For example, to see all Print Materials on Lawn and Garden Care, check the "Lawn and Garden Care" box in NPS Topics and check the "Print Materials" box in Media Format, then click Submit. Without both parameters the search will not execute properly. You may also select more than one media type or NPS topic by checking off more than one box.

To see the entire catalog you may select "Show All Categories" in Step 1 and "Show All Media Formats" in Step 2. Click on Submit to search the catalog. This will generate tables of results on a new page. Scroll down to look through outreach products. To go back and search again, click on the blue Back button at the top of the page.

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How do I view all products in a chosen media format?

Select the A-Z Subject Index link on the left navigation for outreach materials grouped by media format.

Another way to access the same listing is to select Catalog Search from the left navigation bar. On the page, scroll down to Quick Links. Select a media format for a listing of outreach materials.

In the resulting page, you may query and sort the results list of outreach materials. You may sort the results by state or by NPS topic (e.g., Lawn Care).

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How do I view all products from a chosen state?

Select the Where You Live link on the left side navigation bar. Click on a state on the map to see all listings of outreach materials from that state.

Another way to access the same list is to select Catalog Search from the left side navigation bar. On the page, scroll down to View Outreach Materials by State. Select a state from the drop-down list, then click on Go.

This is a useful feature if you are screening all materials created in a particular state before searching for materials from other states.

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Catalog Search Results

What information is included about the outreach products?

Results of a catalog search are displayed in tables, grouped first by NPS topic then by media type. For example, if you searched all four media formats for outreach materials related to "Household Chemicals and Waste," you will get four distinct tables of outreach materials in the results. Those tables will be listed as "TV Ads", "Radio Ads", "Print Materials", and "Other Products".

Browse the tables to get a quick overview of the products in the catalog meeting your specifications.

Within each resulting table, catalog listings are sorted by media type, and identified by title and state. Each listing also contains a link to further Details.

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How do I see an electronic file of the product?

Click on the hyperlinked title to open an electronic file of the actual outreach material. Sometimes the material is only listed in name and the electronic file is not included.

Internet users are aware that website addresses often change and sometimes disappear altogether. This Toolbox contains many links to non-EPA websites, which are marked by an "Exit EPA" flag (Exit EPA Disclaimer). Although these Web addresses were verified when the Toolbox was developed in early 2005, broken links are likely to develop over time. Please help keep the Toolbox useful and accurate by contacting EPA if you find any broken links.

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What are "Details" of an outreach product?

To get more information about the outreach product you are interested in, click on "Details." Details opens a pop-up box with additional information about the catalog entry including Agency, Description, Agency Contact, Website, Permission Comments, Permissions Contact, Year, and Related Media Campaign.

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What is a "Related Media Campaign"?

A Related Media Campaign comprises multiple outreach products that share a common theme such as design, messaging, slogan, or logo.

On the Details pop-up box, clicking on the Related Media Campaign hyperlink will bring up a new pop-up box with a listing of all outreach materials from that Related Media Campaign in the catalog. Also included is a link to the Media Campaign's website.

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How were products selected for this catalog?

Non-EPA products are included in the Toolbox catalog as a public service to broaden the consideration and selection of public service announcements and print materials for users of the Toolbox. The many products within this catalog were selected based on the utility and presentation of messages to improve awareness and/or behavior change around these six categories of nonpoint source outreach:

  • General Stormwater and Storm Drain Awareness
  • Lawn and Garden Care
  • Pet Care
  • Motor Vehicle Care
  • Septic System Care
  • Household Chemicals and Waste

EPA's goal for the products in this catalog is to include outreach messages in these categories that are appropriate, responsible, and tested. All the products in this catalog were reviewed for their value toward supporting EPA's goal for clean and safe water and the objectives and strategies for meeting that goal as outlined in its strategic plan.

Most comments or questions about specific products should be directed to the point of contact listed for each product. If you have comments, concerns or questions about inclusion of a particular product in this EPA catalog, please contact EPA's Project Manager.

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How do I submit a suggestion for material to add to the Toolbox?

Please contact EPA's Project Manager if you would like to submit materials for consideration to be included in this Toolbox.

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Where did the idea for the Nonpoint Source Digital Outreach Toolbox originate?

To help address the NPS education and outreach needs of the public, the states (under the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators) and EPA formed a Nonpoint Source Information Transfer and Outreach Workgroup (Workgroup) in 2000. The mission of the Workgroup is to raise public awareness about NPS problems and solutions and to motivate the public to change their behavior. The Workgroup researched various techniques to learn how best to reach the general public with the NPS message by conducting focus groups and consulting with various behavior change experts. Ultimately, the Workgroup decided that the most effective way to reach the public is by providing information and tools to state and local agencies and other organizations that will enable them to launch their own site-specific NPS pollution outreach campaigns.

The Workgroup researched different NPS outreach campaigns around the country and selected materials that have been tried and tested. All materials are available to the public either as they are or with restrictions specified. EPA intends for state and local agencies and organizations to customize many of these materials simply by adding local contact information or watershed-specific facts, or to use them to get ideas for their own outreach messages. Users will find a variety of useful resources, including:

  • Television and radio public service announcements
  • Print ads in a variety of formats from billboards to newspaper ads
  • Proven slogans, mascots, and ready-to-use logos (black/white and color) to help unify a community's campaign

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How do I get the permission to use a product in this Toolbox?

The materials in this Toolbox are designed to help make your job easier by showing you examples of outreach materials already created by others. However, users of this catalog are cautioned that many of these outreach products were developed for a specific state, region, or locality. Laws and regulations often vary by state and local jurisdiction. Before using any outreach product, be sure to verify that all of the information included in it is applicable to your area.

Catalog users are responsible for obtaining all permissions from the owners of the products they are considering for their own use. To encourage the responsible use of these products, each catalog entry contains details on contact information and the permission policies of the owners that were accurate when the Toolbox catalog was compiled (early 2005). These policies vary by product. Please consult the information included under the heading "Permission Comments" for each product under the "Details" pop-up box.

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Who do I contact with comments or questions?

Most comments or questions about specific products listed in the catalog should be directed to the point of contact provided for each product. View Details of an outreach product for contact information.

The following types of questions or comments should be directed to EPA's Project Manager:

  • I would like my organization's outreach product considered in an update of this catalog.
  • The Toolbox doesn't seem to work right (and I have already reviewed the Frequent Questions section for answers).
  • I have suggestions for improving the Toolbox.
  • I have comments, concerns or questions about inclusion of a particular product in the Toolbox's catalog.
  • I would like to report a bad link in the Toolbox.

Please contact EPA's Project Manager for this Toolbox.

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How do I learn more about EPA's Nonpoint Source Program and EPA's "Section 319" nonpoint source funds?

See www.epa.gov/nps for more information on unregulated nonpoint sources and Section 319(h) grant opportunities.

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How do I learn more about the Stormwater Permits program for Phase I and Phase II communities?

See www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater to learn about how stormwater is regulated.

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Are there outreach materials available for agricultural producers?

This Toolbox offers links to already existing high-quality outreach resources developed by others geared to farmers and the agricultural community. These resources are mainly fact sheets and brochures that cover aspects of agricultural production and its interface with water quality. They are found under “Other NPS Outreach Collections.”

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Pop-up Boxes

Why are my pop-up boxes not working?

Much of the information presented on the outreach materials is in pop-up boxes. To ensure that your browser will enable you to see these pop-up boxes, you may need to change current settings.

Internet Explorer (version 6.0.28 and higher): Click on the menu item "Tools".
Select "Pop-up Blocker".
Select "Turn Off Pop-up Blocker".

Netscape Navigator (version 7.0 and higher): Click on the menu item "Tools".
Select "Pop-up Manager".
Select "Allow Pop-up From This Site".
Click the Toggle Button for Pop-ups on the Main Navigation Bar.

Mozilla Firefox: Click on the menu item "Tools".
Select "Options".
Select "Web Features".
Uncheck the Block Popup Window checkbox.

If you are running third party software on your computer to block pop-ups in your Internet Browser, you may have to temporarily turn off the software to see the pop-up boxes.

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Media Files

What media types are available?

Radio Ads includes Ads of different lengths, usually 30 seconds or 60 seconds. The Radio PSA files are in MP3 format.

TV Ads includes Ads most often 15 or 30 seconds long. TV PSA files are in MPG, MPEG, MOV, WMV or MP4 format. This category also includes a short list of other longer videos that may be obtained by contacting the address listed.

Print Materials includes newspaper ads, and poster ads for billboards, public transportation signs, and other venues. Print Materials are in PDF or JPEG format.

Other Products includes a full suite of outreach materials in different media such as storm drain stencils and markers, magnets, movie theater advertisement slides, door hangers, utility bill inserts and postcards. The full list includes: Billboard; Booklet; Bookmark; Brochure; Bumper Sticker; Bus Board; Calendar; CD for education; CD ROM; Classroom Resources; Cup Holder; Discount Card; Door Hanger; Drain Stencil/ Marker; Fact Sheet; Flyer; Give Away; Grippers for jars; Keychain; Kits for education; Magnet; Movie theater slide; Pen; Placemat; Postcard; Poster; Press Release; Sign; Storm Drain Stencil; Toolkit; T-shirt.

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What formats are outreach products provided in?

If the catalog material is a:

  • Print Ad: the electronic file is in PDF or JPG format
  • Radio PSA: the electronic file is in MP3 format
  • TV PSA: the electronic file is in MPG, MPEG, MOV, WMV or MP4 format
  • Other Product: the electronic file is in PDF format

The appropriate plug-in should launch automatically on your computer in order to see or hear the material. (See What media types are available? for more information. To learn about necessary plug-in applications see Where do I get plug-in applications for different media?)

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Where do I get plug-in applications for different media?

To view a selected outreach material you will need a plug-in application. Many computers are already equipped with the plug-in applications required to view files in this catalog.

Radio Ads are in MP3 format. The following plug-in applications support MP3 format, and will launch MP3 files:

Most Print Materials/Other Products are in PDF form. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a free plug-in that will allow you to view these materials. We recommend Version 6.0 or higher Adobe Acrobat Reader. Older versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader may not be able to open the files in the "Print Materials" and "Other Products" media types.

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html Exit EPA Disclaimer

TV Ads are available as a MPG, MPEG, MOV, WMV or MP4 format.

  • The Windows Media Player Exit EPA Disclaimer plug-in application supports and will launch MPG, MPEG and WMV formats.
  • The Real Player Exit EPA Disclaimer plug-in application supports and will launch MPG, MPEG, WMV, and MP4 formats.
  • The Apple Quicktime Player Exit EPA Disclaimer plug-in application supports and will launch MPG, MPEG, MOV and MP4 formats.

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How do I fix erratic or choppy playback of the TV or radio ads from the Web version of the Toolbox?

A high speed broadband connection is recommended for playing video or audio files online. High Internet traffic or problems specific to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) can also interfere with playback. When video or audio files play erratically, it's often best to let them load completely (i.e., play all the way through, even if it's choppy), and then replay it. It should play considerably more smoothly the second time around because the multimedia file is now pre-loaded into your computer's cache on your hard drive. The CD version of the Toolbox is recommended for dial-up users.

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Polluted Runoff Home NPS Outreach Toolbox Where You Live Getting In Step Outreach Series Featured Products Catalog Search Logos, Slogans & Mascots Surveys & Evaluations Other NPS Outreach Collections Media Campaigns Frequent Questions A to Z Subject Index

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