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Archive for January, 2013

Lisa Stiffler compiles a long list of rain garden studies in a recent blog post and explains in plain English the benefits of a rain garden in removing pollutants from stormwater runoff.  Check out “Are Rain Gardens Mini Toxic Cleanup Sites” for a great overview of rain garden research.

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As 2012 has come to a close many of us are contemplating the promise of 2013 and what the new blank slate might hold.  This is a great time to reflect on our everyday decisions and how we can make small changes to help the world around us.

In this vein, I ask you to consider a couple questions…

  1. Do I make decisions in my everyday life that help improve water quality?
  2. Do my actions inadvertently harm the bayou?
  3. Do I set a positive example for my friends and neighbors?   (more…)

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Planted wetlands help protect Brays Bayou

Planted wetlands help protect Brays Bayou

Over-watering causes runoff.

Over-watering causes runoff.

Armand Bayou leads to Galveston Bay

Armand Bayou leads to Galveston Bay

What is your watershed address? If you do not have an answer then it probably means you are not sure how or even if you are connected to Galveston Bay. Actually, everyone lives in a watershed whether or not a body of water is in view. Simply put, a watershed is the land from which water drains on its way to the nearest bayou, river, lake or bay. Your watershed address bears the name of that accepting water body. For example, I live in the White Oak Bayou Watershed. Water from my yard makes its way into the stormdrain and flows, unfiltered, to White Oak Bayou and ultimately empties into Galveston Bay.
Galveston Bay is a complex mixture of salt and fresh water and is teaming with life. On the land, it is surrounded by prairies and marshes which form rich estuaries, or nurseries, for marine species like crabs, shrimp and oysters. The entire area supports a vibrant, diverse wildlife population. Galveston Bay also ends up being a repository for pollutants found in urban runoff. Stormwater, or rainwater, flows from surfaces that cannot absorb water—impervious surfaces like roofs, streets and parking lots—and from our own landscapes carrying with it substances like motor oil, litter, fertilizers, pesticides and pet waste that all end up in the bay. One way we can make a difference in the health of our watershed and of Galveston Bay is to use landscaping practices that are bay-friendly—working with, not against nature. (more…)

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