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Help Protect Local Watersheds with Thoughtful Landscaping

A watershed provides a basic habitat for plants and animal life. People are also dependent on clean watersheds for safe drinking water and a healthy ecosystem. A dynamic watershed should team with life and provide a building block to the environment.

Conservation of the local watershed can be done in many ways. Reducing our watering cycle on the lawn and garden will help. Using more drought-resistant plants and shrubbery in your landscaping will slow water consumption.

No matter where you live the things we do on a daily basis can affect the watershed in some capacity. Pollutants from lawns, construction sites, roadways, manufacturing plants, septic systems, and agricultural operations all get washed downstream. They eventually end up impacting rivers, lakes, and wetlands. When these pollutants reach a tipping point, you’ll see an increase in algae, weeds, and cloudy water. This is bad for fish, fowl, and recreation, eventually, this affects the local economy, too.

Communities can turn the tide on dirty watersheds by using less water and restoring vegetation to streams and riverbanks. This will filter polluted water and help control erosion of streambanks.

Forming a Watershed Alliance is one way for individuals and communities to reclaim and purify a dirty watershed.

Practices these tips from the EPA to maintain a quality watershed:

  • Maintain vegetative (plant) cover or a tree canopy to reduce erosion.
  • Mulch gardens and exposed soil.
  • Direct runoff from rooftops through downspouts to grassy areas.
  • Minimize paved surfaces.
  • Protect soil disturbed during construction.
  • Maintain natural vegetation or plant vegetation to form a buffer zone along the water’s edge.
  • Check and maintain septic systems.
  • Use no-phosphate soaps and detergent.
  • Collect and recycle used oil.
  • Dispose household waste properly.

Source:

http://dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/enved/watershed/watershed.htm



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