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  What Can You Do
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Clean water means healthy ecosystems which means healthy people. What happens in one body of water can spread to another and in this way the people of the entire world are connected. The struggle to keep water clean is an issue facing everyone.

You Can Help!
The choices we make everyday, from disposing of chemicals to using pesticides, and
even the plants we choose for our backyards, can improve the water quality in our creeks
and the ocean. All the water running off our lawns, gardens, roofs, driveways, animal
enclosures, roads and parking lots is directed—without any treatment—through storm
drains (underground pipes) and open channels to the creeks and ocean. (This is separate
from the sanitary sewer system, which collects wastewater from most households and
commercial sources through indoor plumbing and treats it before discharge.)

Here are some things you and your neighbors can do right now to help ensure healthy
creeks and watersheds.

Home Maintenance

  • Never pour chemicals or other materials, including dirty water, down the storm drain!
  • Minimize the use of chemicals in your house and garden
  • Never drain spas, pools, waterbeds or other chlorinated water into the storm drain
  • Use water-based paints and thinners and clean up indoors
  • Recycle or properly dispose of household hazardous wastes such as paint, solvents, oil, auto fluids ( or call 800-CLEAN-UP)
  • Dispose of dirty, soapy water down the sink or toilet
  • Remember, even bio-degradable soaps are toxic to fish

Landscaping and Yard Maintenance

  • Compost yard and lawn clippings away from the creek
  • Consider chemical-free lawn and garden care as a less toxic alternative
  • Practice water conservation (go to for more information)
  • Monitor irrigation system weekly, eliminate overspray and midday watering
  • Reduce lawn areas
  • Avoid using fertilizer or pesticides during the rainy season or on windy days and do not exceed the recommended amount
  • Consider native plants, which provide food for birds and beneficial insects
  • Native plants are locally adapted and will not need fertilizers or pesticides

Animal Access

  • Establish a buffer zone between animal enclosures and creeks. Prevent manure contact with the creek
  • Prevent dogs and cats from harassing or killing wildlife
  • Clean up after your pets while at home and inthe wild
  • Dispose of pet waste in the trash

More Information:


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