Friday, March 31, 2006

Be the Solution to Stormwater Pollution

Look beneath your feet this Spring and you may notice blue and silver medallions with the message NO DUMPING / DRAINS TO WATERWAY on storm drains throughout Glenwood Landing and northwestern Glen Head (the area between Cody and Glen Cove Avenues and Kissam and Scudders Lanes).

The waterway is Hempstead Harbor. The medallions are intended to remind people that what they do around their homes can affect the water quality in Hempstead Harbor—even when the harbor is nowhere in sight. The Glenwood / Glen Head Civic Association is partnering with Nassau County and the Town of Oyster Bay to secure the medallions to storm drains throughout Glenwood Landing and northwestern Glen Head.

That’s because if you live in that neighborhood, the storm drains on your street empty into Hempstead Harbor. When it rains, runoff (also called stormwater) from your yard enters these storm drains. Eventually, the stormwater reaches Hempstead Harbor because all the storm drains in this area terminate at the harbor. On its journey, the stormwater picks up contaminants, such as automotive oil, pet waste, and garden chemicals. These contaminants are a significant source of pollution in Hempstead Harbor.

You can improve water quality in Hempstead Harbor by reducing the contaminants in stormwater. Simple household measures can help, such as:

• Keeping pet waste, garden clippings, motor oil, and any other waste products out of all storm drains.

• Properly disposing of household chemicals, motor oil, and antifreeze.

• Applng fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides sparingly.

• Keeping yard waste, trash, and dirt off the street and out of gutters.

• Cleaning up after your dog.

• Washing your car at a car wash or on the grass (which reduces runoff by absorbing water).

•Supporting humane geese control measures, such as the Geese Peace program conducted by Nassau County (waste from geese is a significant contaminant in the stormwater).

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