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When Parking Lots Help To Restore Our World

unnamed (2)When you go shopping next, check out the parking lots. How are they designed? Do they just flush all the rainfall right into a storm drain which then empties directly into a stream or lake? Or do they capture the water and allow it to filter back into the ground to recharge the groundwater table and restore our streams?

I recently visited (more…)

Chesapeake Bay – A Fine Balance

imagesCRS699R1The Bay, as we call it here in the Mid-Atlantic States, is a major destination for boating, fishing, and a wide array of water sports. It was once one of the most prolific estuaries in the world and produced large numbers of oysters, clams, shad, striped bass, and blue crabs. In fact, back around 1900 more oyster meat was consumed per capita in Baltimore than beef. But over the years the human population has grown dramatically, and we have over-fished and over-dumped our wastes into this extensive but now endangered wonder.

I grew up on these waters and want to do what I can to restore them. I have learned that the biggest challenge today is the runoff of silt, nitrogen, and phosphorus from our backyards, our farms, and our development sites. (more…)

Could Your Water Supply Be Cut off?

Photograph 2 Lake Erie Algal BloomThe loss of our water supply is not just a risk in dry areas where there is a very limited supply of water and water must be rationed during droughts (e.g., in California today). Losing access to potable water can happen anywhere. Last winter 300,000 residents of Charleston, West Virginia were told not to drink or bathe in their water. This past summer 400,000 Toledo, OH residents were told the same thing about their water coming from Lake Erie (http://www.weather.com/health/what-you-need-know-about-microcystin-toledos-water-toxin-20140804).  The irony of course is that there was plenty of water in these moist areas of the country. Water quantity is not the problem in the East. Water quality is.

The WV problem was the result of a 5000 gallon chemical spill (more…)