As the days warm up, melting snow reveals a huge problem that is usually hidden by the crisp white of snow: litter. The melting snow drains all of this litter into the stormwater systems and into our lakes and rivers, places where we get our drinking water. The water also carries salt sprinkled across the roads into the aquatic systems, raising salinity levels and making it difficult for fish and plants to survive.
The litter on the sides of the roads is always there, it is due to people thinking “out of sight out of mind” that causes the large amounts to accumulate over winter. Public Works departments are constantly cleaning the streets, but that is difficult to do during the winter, and so when the snow melts, it is revealed just how much trash piles up if not cleaned up and thrown away. Even the dog poop remains.
If this is an issue that you want to help solve, please join Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners for our stream cleanup days. We will be going up and down the Tinker’s Creek watershed and getting in the creek to help maintain healthy habitats and water systems. We will also be recycling any trash that we possibly can to keep as much waste out of landfills as possible. Please contact us to find out when these days will be, or keep an eye out on our calendar for more cleanup events across Northeast Ohio!
Right around this time of year, swarms of midges and mayflies take over Cleveland and surrounding areas. For some, this is the most annoying time of the year, but these bugs are fantastic news for water quality in the region! Midges and mayflies indicate that the water quality of Lake Erie and its tributaries is improving!
Stormwater is the precipitation that collects upon the landscape in the form of rain, snow, ice, and sleet. As the rain moves or snow melts and flows across the surface, it picks up different pollutants such as sediment, oil, grease, lawn fertilizers, pesticides, agricultural runoff, and many other toxic substances that collect on the ground.
Zoning ordinances that specifically address development practices have now become necessary to assist in balancing the need for progression and maintaining environmental integrity. Adoption of these ordinances into municipal regulations is needed to preserve the function of our natural systems while promoting smart growth.