How You Can Get Involved

A group of children learning about the storm water system looking in a manhole.

1. Volunteer in the community to do projects that help salmon such as planting native plants along rivers and streams or removing invasive plants.

2. Limit your water use and leave more for salmon.

  • Use as little water as possible for washing, cleaning, flushing, showering, etc.
  • Water gardens and lawns in early morning and evening when more water is absorbed and less is wasted.
  • Use native plants in landscaping, which require less water.
  • Use a mulching lawn mower. Set lawnmower to 2 to 3 inches height to get deeper, healthier grass roots that will retain moisture.

3. Limit electric consumption. (Electricity is produced at dams, which can block salmon migration. Limiting your electrical use decreases the demand for dam-generated electricity.)

  • Buy energy efficient electrical appliances.

4. Limit pesticide Use. (Fertilizers reduce good fish habitat by encouraging the growth of plants in water that then deplete oxygen for fish.)

  • Avoid use of weed killers. Pull weeds by hand.
  • Store chemicals in original containers, which are sealed and covered and where there is no chance for them to leak into the soil or storm drains.
  • Landscape with pest-resistant plants so you won't need bug and weed killers.
  • Never pour left-over chemicals down drains.
  • Use slow release natural fertilizers.

5. Watch chemicals used in cleaning solutions. (Phosphates used in many cleaning supplies encourage plant growth in water, which use the oxygen fish need.)

  • Use only low phosphate detergents for cleaning your house.
  • Never dump waste in storm drains, especially oils, paints, antifreeze, because they drain directly into rivers and lakes and can kill fish.
  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks with a broom, not the hose. Washing sidewalks and driveways sends car pollutants into storm drains and then into rivers and ground water.
  • Wash car on lawn; so water won't drain to street or storm drains. Or go to a commercial car wash where waste water is recycled.

6. Take care when living near water.

  • Scoop up all pet poop and flush down toilet. Pet waste is a major source of water pollution.
  • Plant native plants along streams. The plants shade the water for salmon.
  • Use natural ground cover or porous materials such as gravel or bark instead of asphalt and concrete for paths and driveways.
  • Ensure roof runoff soaks into the ground. Avoid piping to ravines or streams as it causes erosion.

Information was taken from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's "Your Impact on Salmon/Fish A Self-Assessment." (PDF)

Natural Yard Care

Why Natural Yard Care

Rain washes pesticides and fertilizers off lawns and gardens into nearby storm drains and local waterways. Natural yard care techniques will grow healthy, beautiful, and easy-to-care-for yards and gardens that are safer for your family, pets, and the environment. Natural Yard Care resources.

Five Easy Steps to Natural Yard Care

Download the Natural Yard Care guide to learn how to put these steps into practice. This guide provides a handy calendar for you to follow each season. Natural Yard Care guide (PDF)

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