There are a lot of things you can do in your everyday life to help improve the health of the watershed,
here are a few tips!
1. Pollution from stormwater runoff is a big health threat to our waterways. Every time it rains, pollution washes off your yard, agricultural land, and the roads and flows towards the Shiawassee River. Reduce your runoff by installing a rain barrel or rain garden. Plant native trees and plants to stop erosion and create habitat for wildlife. And be careful of the products you use on your property!
2. Use less water and treat your sewer and septic systems with care by not over using or flushing inappropriate things. Another of the biggest threats to water quality comes from aging infrastructure of sewer systems. Cities across the nation are dealing with sewer systems that are falling apart. Every time you flush your toilet or leave the water running while you’re brushing your teeth, it increases the load on your sewer system. Conserving water lowers the burden on sewage treatment plants, and in turn, lowers the overflow into the river.
3. In the same way that dripping automotive oil ends up in the watershed, so does a large amount of the fertilizers and pesticides you use in your garden. This causes rivers and lakes to get a huge dose of nitrogen which makes algae grow abnormally, this can cause wildlife to die off, along with a host of other problems. Go with natural fertilizers and bug killers and even then, stick to the directions and make sure you aren’t overusing or applying on days when they are likely to be quickly washed away by rain.
4. Don't dispose of leaves and yard trimmings in rivers and lakes. The excess nutrients from leaves and lawn clippings being dumped in our waterways feeds unwanted algea in the summer, and when the algea dies, it decomposes at the bottom of the river or lake. This decomposition process results in depleated oxygen levels that are needed by the native macroinvertebrates, fish, and plants. For more ideas on how to properly dispose of leaves and other yard waste click here.
6. Frequent your local farmer’s market and find organic farmers. Doing business with them helps keep fertilizers and pesticides out of the environment and it also reduces the need to truck food over long distances, which reduces all the pollution associated with transportation.
7. Support Friends! By giving your time, talents or contributions you can make a big impact on the Shiawassee River.
We rely on volunteers to help us with trash pick up, water quality monitoring, habitat restoration, and advocating on the river’s behalf. Volunteering your time not only helps the river but also demonstrates your commitment to clean water.
To volunteer with Friends sign up here or attend one of our events!