Friday, November 16, 2012

Ask Your Questions at eTown Hall Meeting

Join the discussion about Pinellas County watersheds and how they connect the environment, economic vitality and quality of life

What is a watershed? Why should we care? A watershed is an area of land that drains to an open body of water. In Pinellas County, every square foot of land drains somewhere. The actions we take affect the health of our waterways and the economic vitality of the area, including the health of our tourism industry and the quality of life we enjoy.

Join the conversation about this important issue at the eTownHall: Watershed, where we LiveWorkPlay. The live online event will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m. and will incorporate questions that are blogged and called in by members of the public.

Panel members will answer questions sent in by the public and discuss the connections between the county’s watersheds and how they directly affect the quality of life that is valued by residents, visitors and the business community.

The eight panelists represent a cross-section of the county, including the citizenry, Tampa Bay Times, Visit St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Pinellas County Economic Development. Tampa Bay Estuary, Pinellas County Extension and the county’s Department of Environment and Infrastructure’s Watershed Division. The eTownHall will be moderated by Len Ciecieznski of the Pinellas County Communications Department.

The panelists will answer as many questions as possible during the hour-long program.

The first of a three-part series of video public service announcements will also be unveiled during the live event as the kickoff to a special effort to educate residents, visitors, business people, community leaders and all those who live, work and play in Pinellas County.

As a watershed management plan is being developed, solutions are being investigated to improve overall water quality and address drainage problems. Increased public awareness is the key to understanding the role of the community as part of the solution to these countywide problems.

There are five ways to participate in the eTownHall:

1. Blog on The blog opens at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, for early questions and comments and will remain open through the live event on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

2. View the live streaming video event on the eTownHall website on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from 7 to 8 p.m.

3. Tweet with the hashtag #pinellaswatershed to send in questions and comments.

4. Call in during the live event. To ask a question or make a comment, call (727) 464-TOWN (8696).

5. Watch the event live on PCC-TV (Bright House Channel 622, Knology Channel 18 or Verizon Channel 44).

For more information on the event call (727) 464-4600 or go to, where you can also access resources and watch a video to learn the basics of watersheds and why we should care. You can also set up a convenient event reminder.

The conference room at the Pinellas County Communications Department will be open to the public during the live event as well to provide access to a computer, TV and phone. It is located at 333 Chestnut St. in Clearwater.

Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in this event, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. At least seven days prior to the event, contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756 (727) 464-4062(V/TDD).

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