What you can do to help the bay
10 Things You Can Do Today to Reclaim the Bay
- Use Fertilizer Sparingly – Limit the amount of fertilizer used on your lawn and garden. Excessive levels of nutrients in the Bay lead to lower levels of oxygen needed for aquatic life.
- Build a Rain Garden or Rain Barrel – Stormwater carries pollutants such as lawn chemicals from our yards into the Bay. Creating backyard habitats can minimize runoff and reduce yard work.
- Scoop the Poop – Make your neighbors happy and keep harmful nitrogen out of the Bay by always cleaning up after your pet.
- Walk, Hike, Ride a Bike - If people in the U.S. would occasionally ride a bike for a short errand instead of driving a car, over 70 million gallons of fuel could be saved each year! And there’s the added benefit of enjoying the fresh air and exercise! For short errands, take a hike!
- Reduce Electricity - Coal-burning power plants are among the largest sources of nitrogen compounds in air pollution.
- Think Green when You Clean - Cleaning products that contain chlorine or petroleum distillates expose your family to toxins and then end up in the ecosystem. Choose nontoxic, naturally derived cleaning products, which are proven effective but won’t cause long term damage to the Earth.
- Make an Appointment to Service Your Septic System – Septic systems should be inspected yearly to ensure proper functioning. Failing systems can leak into the groundwater and eventually end up in the Bay.
- Dispose Properly of Hazardous Household Items – Oils, anti-freeze, paint, cleaners and prescription drugs shouldn’t be poured down a household or storm drain. Check with your local waste management service to find out what hazardous materials they accept.
- Recycle Oyster Shells – A healthy oyster population can help filter and clean Chesapeake Bay waterways. A recycled oyster shell can return 10 new oysters back into the Bay.
- Reduce, Reuse Recycle - It’s more than just a slogan. You can start making the world a ‘greener’ place today: return hangers to the cleaners, donate clothing and computers to charities, pack lunches in reusable containers instead of bags, there are hundreds of easy things to do! It’s up to you!l