The start of a new year is a great time for self-reflection and an opportunity to work toward positive changes in ourselves and our communities. Join us in making a clean water resolution for 2015! Here are some ideas on how you can help make a difference for clean water:
Explore Baltimore’s Local Waterways
- Spend time with family outside while getting to know your local parks and streams.
- Try hiking or biking along the trails of the Gwynns Falls, Jones Falls and Herring Run or paddling Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River. The more connected we are to our waterways, the more invested we are in protecting them.
Anyone who has spent time around Baltimore’s waterways has seen the plastic bottles, bags, and litter along our stream banks. Keep disposables out of our waterways by incorporating reusable alternatives into your daily life.
- Practice bringing reusable bags to the grocery store
- Use a reusable water bottle and coffee mug
- Replace lunchtime ziplocks with reusable snack bags
Reduce your Stormwater Footprint
In suburban and urban areas, paved surfaces, rooftops, and lawns create polluted stormwater runoff that empties into our rivers, streams and Baltimore Harbor. Reduce your stormwater footprint with daily activities like picking up after your pet or larger projects like conservation landscaping that reduce pollution and utilize rainwater.
Try Meatless Monday
No matter how you do it, reducing meat consumption has considerable environmental and public health benefits.
So what does meat have to do with clean water? Good question!
- Agriculture is the single largest source of nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and food animal production is disproportionately responsible.
- The animals we raise for food create a lot of waste (89,000lbs per second!) which directly and indirectly discharges into our waterways contributing to hypoxic dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay.
- The large amount of cropland devoted to animal feed also carries to fertilizers, pesticides, and sediment in our water.
By shifting to a more plant-based diet, you are helping to protect regional water resources. Give it a try! It may be easier than you think.
Use your Civic Voice
Stand up for a cause that you believe in and make your voice heard by staying informed, contacting your local politicians, and reporting pollution. With the upcoming legislative session starting this month, keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to take action on water quality issues.
There are many great ways to volunteer your time for clean water to fit your schedule and interests.
Pledge to plant a tree at one of our spring and fall plantings, monitor streams for illicit discharges, participate in a stream or community cleanup like Project Clean Stream, or spread the word about stormwater pollution through storm drain art.