Curbing Polluted
Stormwater Runoff

What is Polluted Runoff?

Did you know that the way we care for our homes, lawns, cars, and streets says a lot about how much we care about the health of Long Island Sound? That’s because commonly-used products such as fertilizers, pesticides, household cleaners, and motor oil can pollute Long Island Sound if we fail to use and dispose of them properly. How so? Rain or melted snow can carry products such as fertilizer, pesticides, or leaking motor oil from driveways, streets, and lawns into local streams or storm sewer systems. Eventually, these harmful chemicals get flushed into the Sound.

Step by Step: Learn more about how you can curb polluted runoff by viewing our online guide

Why Should We Be Concerned?

Here are a few reasons:

  • The oil from a single automobile engine can produce an eight-acre oil slick;
  • The fertilizer that helps keep lawns and plants abundant can fuel the excessive growth of algae when it reaches a water body, which then sucks up the oxygen needed for fish and other animals living in the Sound;
  • And the soil washed into the Sound can harm fish eggs and clog up harbors.

What Can You Do?

Bronx River Outfall Pipe
An outfall pipe, below fence, discharges sediment into the Bronx River.

You’ve already started by reading this page, and becoming aware that, “If it Goes on the Ground, it Goes in the Sound.” The next step involves learning what you can do at home and in your community to reduce polluted runoff. Simple steps such as don’t fertilize before a rainstorm or cleaning up pet waste can help. To learn more, the Long Island Sound Study recently published a guide to curbing stormwater pollution. For more information, see the online guide.

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