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Toby's Water Warriors

Why is stormwater pollution a problem that we must be concerned about?

Pollutants picked up by storm water are discharged untreated into lakes and streams that we use for swimming, fishing, boating or wildlife viewing. 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 now considered the greatest source of pollution to Florida's lakes, streams and wetlands. Polluted stormwater runoff has many adverse impacts on surface water quality, aquatic plants and aquatic wildlife.

Toby's Take the Pledge Sticker

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!”