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Watershed Implementation Plan list

May 26, 2012

Julie Pippel, director of Washington County’s Division of Environmental Management, provided the following ideas of steps that can be taken to help reduce nitrogen and phosphorous discharges into the Chesapeake Bay watershed:

  • Test the lawn and flower and vegetable gardens to determine whether they need fertilizer and only add what is needed.
  • Dog owners can scoop the waste, even in their own yards, and put it in the trash.
  • Plant trees, which absorb nitrogen and phosphorous.
  • Use rain barrels and use the collected water to water gardens.
  • Build a rain garden, which is an excavated pit filled with engineered media, topsoil, mulch and vegetation. These are built in shallow basins where they temporarily retain stormwater.
  • Reduce impervious surfaces such as blacktop or gravel driveways in which the soil beneath becomes compact. Permeable pavement is one option.
  • If you have a stream on or near your property, do not mow all the way to the stream edge.
  • Use plantings to create a buffer along the stream edge. This will stabilize soils and the streambank.

Pippel wants to create a voluntary inventory of these types of projects. Some of these projects might now, or in the future, count toward the nitrogen and phosphorous reduction target of the resident’s hometown or county.

For more information, to provide information about a project you are undertaking or to get a copy of “From My Backyard to Our Bay,” call the Washington County Division of Environmental Management at 240-313-2600. The booklet is a guide to conserving natural resources and improving the environment.

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— Julie E. Greene

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