Many of us love to spend time outside by landscaping our yards or growing our foods. There are many benefits to doing these things, but it’s very important to do them the right way. Fertilizers or pesticides can infiltrate into groundwater and if applied incorrectly, can wind up untreated in our waterways as stormwater runoff.

Managing your lawn or garden’s impact on stormwater doesn’t mean you can’t still have a productive garden or beautiful lawn. The following steps can help you reduce runoff:

  • Utilize compost or mulch – the healthy soils will improve plants to be more resistant to insects or diseases while reducing the need for pesticides or herbicides. If absolutely needed, slow-relase organic fertilizers exist.
  • Not all bugs are bad! Only 5% of what you see in your yard are pests, so don’t rush to judgement and spray the first thing you see.
  • Set your blade higher when mowing to leave grass clippings on the lawn – this improves lawn health and quality while reducing the need for fertilizer.
  • Check the weather – stay away from chemicals when rain is coming.
  • Plant native!

Managing Stormwater

Did You Know? Despite the gloom and doom, you CAN help manage stormwater! Stormwater management begins in your yard or at your business. Check out how to get started.

Protecting Hood Canal's Shellfish

Did You Know? Significant amounts of stormwater can increase the risk of flooding, and once polluted, can severely impact Hood Canal's shellfish and salmon, as well as our drinking water.

Pollutants in Hood Canal

Did You Know? Over 50,000 pounds of pollutants on average are released into the Puget Sound and Hood Canal Ecosystem every day, including oils, metals and more. (Washington State Department of Ecology (2011b). Toxics in Runoff to Puget Sound. Phase 3 Data Loads and Estimates. April 2011

Rain in Puget Sound

Did You Know? Most of Puget Sound and Hood Canal receive over 40 inches of rain each year. Just an inch of rain over a 1-acre acre equates to over 27,000 gallons of water! That's a lot of stormwater runoff.