Pollution Solutions

HOW YOU CAN HELP WITH POLLUTION

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We can all help safeguard our waters. Here, some things you can do in your own backyard.

1 – Leave natural plantings at the water’s edge or plant a rain garden using native plants. A rain garden creates a buffer zone to help filter runoff and takes advantage of that runoff in its design and plant selection. Most importantly, a rain garden is formulated to withstand extremes of moisture and concentrations of harmful nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, that are found in stormwater runoff. For more information go to www.lowimpactdevelopment.org/rain_garden.htm

2 – Use permeable materials for driveways, walkways, or patios and under downspouts – wherever you see runoff. Shells and rocks and other mulches help.

3 – Develop ways to capture water from downspouts and use this resevoir for future watering. Soaker hoses can also disperse this water.

4 – Limit fertilizer use. Use no fertilizers within 100 ft. of the shore. Use organic products or 50% release nitrogen or 50% water-insoluble nitrogen. Nitrogen loading in our ponds has caused excessive algae which blocks sunlight and suffocates marine life.

5 – Use mulching lawn mowers and set blades at 4 inches.

6 – Have septic systems checked. Keep up-to-date on the new technologies to remove nitrogen form our waste.

7 – Educate your children about the importance of protecting our waters.

8 – For more ideas, check out the Island Blue Pages at www.islandbluepages.org

9 – Avoid detergents containing nonylphenol ethoxylate surfactants and phosphates. These surfactants are toxic to fish, getting into their gills and impairing their ability to get oxygen from the water. Phosphates cause exponential growth of algae.