Earth Day is the Day to Save Our Waterways

Today, Friday April 22, join with us for clean water. Help us to educate lawn-owners that they need not fertilize more than once a year. Going from five applications a year to once will reduce pollution off their lawns by 80%.    

Your generous support will unclog waterways choked with weeds, help save striped bass from ocean dead zones, bare-footed beach goers from green slime, and swimmers from harmful algal blooms.

The EPA is requiring communities to reduce nutrient runoff pollution into rivers by 54%. By fertilizing lawns only once a year instead of multiple times, there will be a significant reduction in nutrient pollution coming off of lawns. 

In Falmouth lawn-owners changed their ways when 16 striped bass were found dead on a shore. They have since demonstrated that lawns fertilized once are just as green as neighboring lawn fertilized five times.

And you know this will work in your watershed on your waterways, as well.

Individuals are going the distance for cleaner waters.  For example, visit Nadia's page saving the Charles River (MA), or Elise's page saving the Miles River that flows into the Ipswich River (MA)  James' page saving the James River (VA), or Michela's page saving Lake Champlain (VT), or Liz's page stopping harmful algal blooms, or Rob's page cleaning the Intercoastal Waterway (FL).  You are welcome to comment on individual pages or start your own Fundraiser page featuring your favorite waterway.  

As we reach our goal, every dollar raised from friends and family will go to improve essential fish habitats, amphibian, waders and duck habitats, too. Don't forget the mussels that filter fresh water, clams and oysters filtering salt water. Tell us who is in your waterway and support the Ocean River Institute on Earth Day 2016.

Liz Stebbins talks with Rob Moir about the causal connections between what we do to our lawns and conditions in waterways.

ORI's campaign began in Falmouth, MA when 16 Striped Bass were found dead on the shore. Residents blamed the lawns sloping down to the water.  Over-fertilization of lawns causes excess phosphorous and nitrogen (nutrients) to run into waterways, where they consequently feed slimy, harmful algal blooms. Algal blooms suck oxygen out of the water and kill fish. Striped bass and their forage fish, herring, have a very interesting role in New England ecology and culture.

Liz Stebbins is in her third year of studying biology at Harvard College. She is particularly interested in marine biology and the conservation and management of ocean resources, and since beginning work at ORI has loved being able to support political change based on scientific understanding. She is fascinated by fishery ecology (an interesting intersection between policy and biology) and hopes to continue learning at the Ocean River Institute. 

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