“Water, water everywhere” is especially true for a coastal county like ours.
Liberty County has an abundance of wetlands and marshes as well as rivers, creeks and, of course, access to the Atlantic Ocean. We are fortunate, but we also have a distinct responsibility to protect this wealth of water spaces.
These waterways and the numerous species of birds and aquatic life that depend on these water sources must be protected from pollution. When these creatures show signs of problems because of environmental pollution, you can count on the problem working its way up the food chain to us.
We all should care about our waterways. Thankfully, in Liberty County, a growing number of citizens do.
This month, we have been making a positive difference in our local waterways by participating in the statewide Rivers Alive waterway cleanups. About 500 volunteers already have held cleanups to make a difference in over 40 locations in Liberty County. Several more groups have cleanups scheduled in the next three weeks. We still have plenty of places around our community that could use the help of a volunteer like you.
In Liberty County, we hold our main Rivers Alive Cleanup Day on national Make a Difference Day on the fourth Saturday of October, but over the years we have many groups schedule other days for their cleanups so that they can participate even if they have a conflict of the main event day.
So, it is not too late for you and your family or organization or neighborhood to make a difference too. Call us at Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can schedule a date that works for you.
Volunteering with Rivers Alive this month is one way to make a powerful statement about protecting our waterways. Making good choices every day about how we handle litter is another important way to prevent water pollution.
Litter that travels creates what the Environmental Protection Division folks call nonpoint source pollution, which is the greatest threat to our water quality. Sadly, this nonpoint source pollution is us humans and the ill-advised choices we make on a daily basis.
Since we are the problem, we must also be the solution. Here are some ways we can minimize the problems created by nonpoint source pollution:
• Use lawn and garden chemicals sparingly or use organic alternatives.
• Choose low-maintenance, native plants that require fewer chemicals and less watering.
• Don't dump anything into storm drains.
• Wash your car on the lawn or gravel, which filter the dirt and soap out of the water. Use soaps without phosphates, which remove oxygen from the water. Or go to a car wash that recycles wash water.
• Don’t just pour car fluids into the ground or down a storm drain.
• Clean up after your pet and dispose of the waste in the garbage or flush it down the toilet.
• Use phosphate-free household cleaners.
• Check your septic system or have it serviced every three to five years to prevent leaks.
• Sweep driveways and sidewalks rather than hosing them down.
• Use surfaces like paving blocks, gravel, cobbles, brick and natural stone instead of asphalt and concrete in driveways, parking lots and walkways so rainwater, etc., can drain down slowly through and take debris with it.