What Can I do?We are the greatest threat to our watersheds. Our homes, businesses and roads change the landscape, increasing stormwater runoff and adding pollutants to our waters. Remember, small actions can make a big difference.
We must restore and protect our complex, yet delicate environment to ensure the future quality of our water systems and the health of this land we call home. From the land around our homes to the rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay, let's take PRIDE in our environment and preserve our rich history for future generations.
Here are some things you can do to Protect with PRIDE
Reduce pesticides and herbicides in your landscape. These products are toxic and a potential source of contamination. Use them sparingly and in strict accordance with label directions. Seek non-toxic alternatives whenever possible and pull weeds by hand.
Use chemical fertilizers sparingly. Don't overuse fertilizers, especially near ponds or streams. Rain and water washes fertilizers into waterways and water bodies, contributing to algae blooms, which in turn kill fish.
Use or dispose of grass clippings. Leave grass clippings on your lawn as natural compost. If you bag your clippings, throw them away with the garbage. Don't dump them in the street where they clog inlets and storm drains.
Plant instead of pave. Ground cover minimizes surface runoff. Consider replacing turf adjacent to waterways and water bodies with vegetative buffers that will slow storm water and reduce nutrients entering the water.
Redirect runoff from roofs, patios and driveways. Stormwater runoff that flows directly into channels and storm drains goes right into the Bay, carrying pollutants with it. Miminize runoff by disconnecting downspouts over paved areas. Redirecting runoff to landscaped areas will slow and filter stormwater before it gets to the drain.
Don’t water your driveway.Washing driveways and sidewalks wastes water and pushes pollutants into storm drains. Wash vehicles on lawn areas to help filter pollutants and use biodegradable detergents with little or no phosphates.
Leave the storm drains for the storms. Never put used motor oil, anti-freeze, paint, leaves, lawn clippings or other waste materials or chemicals directly into storm drains, channels or inlets. Motor oils and anti-freeze are extremely toxic to wildlife and plants and can contaminate water supplies. Take oil and paint containers to hazardous material recycling stations.
Be a responsible pet owner. Did you know that pet waste contains bacteria and other pathogens that can be washed into our waterways just as easily as leaves and other materials? Always pick up after your pet and use the trash or a toilet for disposal.