In order to directly reduce the amount of stormwater flowing into our rivers and streams we install targeted green infrastructure projects like rain gardens and cisterns throughout our watershed. These projects serve to mitigate stormwater flows in our communities. Additionally, they provide much needed green space in urban areas. Targeted green infrastructure projects offer other ecosystem benefits through their use of native and pollinator friendly plants and sustainable materials.
In a watershed where over 75% of the area is considered “developed”, we need these green spaces now more than ever!
Rain gardens are one of the primary green infrastructure tools we use. By directly trapping stormwater on project sites, the water can infiltrate into the ground naturally instead of running off into storm drains and the river. Rain gardens often involve planting native and pollinator friendly flora in engineered depressions in the land. These catch stormwater and hold it to facilitate infiltration.
Additionally, these gardens not only serve to mitigate stormwater but also beautify an area in an already urban landscape. And importantly, they provide respite and shelter for vital pollinators and birds in our ecosystems.
Here in the Chesapeake Bay watershed we take regular landscaping to the next level with “Bayscaping”. Conservation landscaping or “Bayscaping” is the practice of using low-impact landscaping techniques in combination with native plants. Together, these techniques significantly reduce stormwater issues like erosion and flooding.
By using plants native to the Chesapeake region that often have stronger roots and thrive in our climate, we’re able to create beautiful landscaping for your property. Not only aesthetically pleasing, Bayscaping serves important river health and ecology purpose too!
Cisterns and rain barrels are some of the most active stormwater mitigation tools someone can use to trap and store stormwater on their property. These containers of various sizes are often attached to downspouts from homes or businesses. By directly capturing rainwater, a property owner can store and use it later for watering their plants on dry days. One or two of these installed on a property can vastly reduce your stormwater footprint. When installed in combination with other green infrastructure like rain gardens, your stormwater footprint can be reduced to almost to zero.
Check your local state or county programs to see if you qualify for assistance in installing a cistern or rain barrel at your home or business.
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