Climate Cyclist Team storms Belfast to mark drains

By Ben Holbrook | Jul 19, 2012
Photo by: Ben Holbrook Climate Cyclist Team member Amanda Crawford-Staub marks a storm drain in downtown Belfast with spray paint while fellow team member Sara Mitsinikos marks the location on a GPS device.

Belfast — Many of the storm drains around downtown Belfast were marked Tuesday morning, July 17, by a group of students who are traveling around New England to help communities with climate-related projects.

Sara Mitsinikos, 18, of Long Island, N.Y., helped mark various storm drains around town with a warning, made with a stencil and spray paint, not to dump into them. She is part of a larger group, the New England Summer Climate Cyclist Team, on a nine-week trip around New England.

“We’re a group of six students biking to different towns in Maine,” Mitsinikos said. “We’ve been in Maine for about four weeks, and our next stop is in Rockland.”

The group is marking storm drains to warn people that any items or other substances dumped into the drains will eventually drain into the bay. By marking the drains, Mitsinikos said, the intent is to preserve the bay and make sure it’s clean and healthy for residents to enjoy. The marked drains are recognizable by a white stencil graphic that says "No Dumping, Drains to Bay."

Tuesday’s efforts were a joint collaboration between the Climate Cyclists and the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.

“We’re also checking to make sure the drains are working properly, because we don’t want the streets to flood if the drains are blocked,” she said.

In addition to marking storm drains, the group also helped build edible gardens at a home on Woods Road with the Belfast Area Transition Initiative; build a bike trailer and help the Newfound Institute prepare its campus for Farm Day.

The team has completed work in Portland, Lewiston and Biddeford, and will finish off their trip with stops in Rockland, Cumberland and York, Mitsinikos said.

Each member of the Climate Cyclist Team committed to traveling around New England on a bike and avoids using any fossil-fuel vehicle.

For more information about the Climate Cyclist Team go to www.climatesummer.net.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at bholbrook@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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