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10 things you can do to protect the bay

| January 23, 2017, 01:46 PM

  1. Plant a tree:  Trees are incredibly valuable to our environment and to the Chesapeake Bay. Planting trees not only improve the Bay’s water quality, resulting in less runoff and erosion, but also can increase property values by as much as 20 percent. By planting native trees, you will decrease Bay pollutants from stormwater runoff and provide life-saving habitat for wildlife.  A list of native plants and where you can find can be found on our website cbtrust.org.
  2. Install a rain barrel: Rain barrels are a unique way to capture rain water around our homes. Water from downspouts coming from the roof is captured in these barrels, and this water can be used to water lawns and flower beds. On average, rain barrels can save Maryland homeowners 1,300 gallons of water, and therefore electricity as well, simply by reusing this natural resource. Get more information on rain barrels on our website.
  3. Volunteer for a clean-up: Consider spending a day volunteering for a local watershed organization where you can learn firsthand how important community clean-ups are to Bay restoration. There are countless opportunities to get your hands dirty as you do your part to help out. Check out our calendar of events to find a volunteer opportunity near you.
  4. Teach the next generation:  Teaching our children to learn and care about our environment is critical in ensuring we leave a legacy of clean water for generations to come. Taking children to a cleanup, planting a tree or just talking them for a walk by the water are simple ways to teach your children.
  5. Plant a rain garden as well as water absorbing shrubs, trees and bushes around your home:  By installing a rain garden and/or planting native water absorbing shrubs, trees and bushes on you property you can reduce flooding, erosion and filter runoff that causes water pollution.
  6. Conserve water:  Water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby stream and rivers. You can save money on your utility bill or extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks.  Take shorter showers and turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth.
  7. Recycle, reuse, and consume less:  Recycling is a great option but still takes money and energy.  In addition to recycling, consider consuming less to begin with.
  8. Dispose of hazardous household items properly.  Paint, cleaners, oils, and other hazardous materials including prescription drugs should not be poured down a household or storm drain. Check with your county waste management service to find out what hazardous materials they accept.
  9. Pick up litter and your pet’s waste.  Keep trash and harmful nutrients and bacteria out of waterways by always cleaning up after your pet and picking up litter.
  10. Purchase a bay plate: For only $20, you can purchase your own Treasure the Chesapeake license plate online and it will be mailed directly to your home. Those funds are distributed through the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Trust to organizations working to improve the bay through restoration, education and community engagement. You can learn more by going to bayplate.org



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