Being “Swamp Smart” means being considerate of the issues of the Great Swamp Watershed in your everyday activities. It may not seem like you can have a big impact on such a large ecosystem, but you can! Here are some ways you can be Swamp Smart and help protect our local natural resources.
AROUND THE HOUSE:
- Keep medications out of the drain. When disposing of medications, take prescription drugs out of original containers, mix with cat litter or used coffee grounds, and place into a sealable bag or a container with a lid before throwing it into the trash. Many towns also have medication drop-off days.
- Keep litter out of the water. Garbage that washes into storm drains fouls the waterway and can harm wildlife. Some litter breaks down slowly and can remain in the streams for centuries.
- Scoop the poop. Pet waste is raw sewage. Dispose of it far from all water sources and storm drains.
- Use earth-friendly household and garden products.
- Wash vehicles in a car wash or on the grass, not on the driveway.
- Maintain your septic system properly.
- Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Only buy water-efficient appliances and fixtures.
IN LAWNS, GARDENS, AND LANDSCAPE:
- Go native. Nurture native trees and shrubs.
- Create natural places for water to soak into the ground. Use swales or rain gardens to manage storm water. Limit paved areas and use pervious materials when possible for patios, driveways, and walkways.
- Limit lawn areas. Large lawns reduce the amount of water that can soak into the ground and often require large amounts of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Use less fertilizer on your lawn or choose not to use it. Never apply phosphorus on an established lawn unless the soil is deficient. When necessary, use only a slow-release, low-concentration fertilizer.
- Water your yard infrequently or not at all. Once inch of water is sufficient. Brown grass is dormant, not dead. It will return to life when rain comes.
IN THE COMMUNITY:
- Visit the Great Swamp and enjoy its natural beauty and recreational value. The more you see how wonderful it is, the more you’ll want to share experiences with friends and family… and the more its value will spread.
- Don’t dump garbage, tires, appliances, or other waste on roads or waterways.
- If you see garbage in a wetland area, contact us so we can report it and encourage authorities to have it removed.
- Recycle everything you can. Purchase recycled products and support recycling programs.