Spring cleaning and greening

Published March 20, 2009

Spring is here! Flowers are in bloom, grass is getting greener, and the water warming- but is it getting cleaner?conservationplantingblog As stated the EPA's annual Chesapeake Bay report, the Bay Barometer, despite small successes in certain parts of the ecosystem and specific geographic areas, the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay did not improve in 2008. The Bay continues to have poor water quality, degraded habitats and low populations of many species of fish and shellfish. Based on these three areas, the overall health averaged 38 percent, with 100 percent representing a fully restored ecosystem. As we hear all of the time, one of the greatest challenges to restoration is continued population growth and development, which destroys forests, wetlands and other natural areas. The impact of human activity is overwhelming nature and offsetting cleanup efforts. Almost 17 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The actions that residents take everyday affect nature and impact the health of local creeks, streams and rivers, and ultimately the Bay. As you set off to enjoy the season and the outdoors,  remember what you can be doing to help protect our waters and the animals that inhabit them:
  • Pick up after your pet
  • Use phosphorus-free dish detergent
  • Volunteer for a watershed group (like the National Aquarium)
  • Drive your car less
  • Don’t fertilize your lawn
  • Plant native trees and shrubs
  • Install a rain barrel and rain garden
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