The earth has 6.5 billion residents inhabiting its face, and this figure is increasing exponentially. The United States has the third highest population in the world, and the state of Ohio ranks 7th in the country in population. 2,179,833 people (2000 Census) live within the 4 counties which comprise the Tinker’s Creek Watershed. According to the U.S. EPA, the Great Lakes hold 84% of all fresh water in the United States and 21% of all fresh water on the planet. Accepted development practices allow environmentally sensitive areas to become exposed to erosion and sediment contamination through the following methods: loss of groundcover, removal of wooded buffer areas next to streams, development of streambanks up to the edge, filling in and paving over of wetlands, and covering of landscape with impervious surfaces. In all cases, runoff into our waterways is increased.

Zoning ordinances that specifically address development practices have now become a necessary tool 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.

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