Save the Bay, an organization dedicated to protecting Narragansett Bay, is offering tips on how Rhode Islanders can reduce their contribution to polluted rainwater that runs off of lawns and hard surfaces into the bay.
Last week, Save the Bay released a lifestyle guide called Bay-Friendly Living that explains how people can manage their lawns better to prevent chemicals like fertilizer from polluting the bay. Other suggestions include picking up dog poop and keeping trash out of storm drains.
Cindy Sabato, director of communications at Save the Bay, said this guide is important because polluted runoff is one of the bay’s biggest threats.
“As areas become more urbanized and we pave a lot more of it, there’s less land and less buffer zones to filter water before it reaches our bay, so pollutants are going directly into our waters, off of pavements and roadways and sidewalks and down storm drains,” Sabato said.
Runoff pollution is also a major cause of beach closures, fish kills and algae blooms, which can often lead to illness in humans and smelly water, Sabato said.
The greater Narragansett Bay watershed, which is an area of land where groundwater, rain and melting snow flow into a body of water, extends as far north as Worcester, Massachusetts and flows southward to southern coastal beaches and Rhode Island Sound.