Eroded sediments

Roofs, parking lots, and streets increase the speed and volume of storm water causing erosion and sediment pollution

Sediment can degrade water quality for people, animals, and fish in multiple ways. Sediment can clog stormwater drains and increase flooding; sediment can make water treatment more expensive and it can change the taste and odor; sediments can clog fish gills and thereby increase disease; sediment can accumulate on the bottom where it smothers and disrupts benthic, or bottom, organisms and habitats; sediment can be suspended in the water column where it reduces the water clarity necessary for growth of submerged aquatic vegetation and disrupts predator/prey dynamics in fish; sediment can carry nutrients that activate blue-green algae to release toxins, making the water unsafe for swimming; sediments can alter the flow of water and reduce water depth making fishing and boating more difficult or impossible.

Excess sedimentation is also increased by stream bank erosion, from neglect or development, lack of regulation and enforcement, and poor construction site management, even from minor home improvement projects like room additions or yard landscaping.

Sources: Increased Stormwater Runoff, Head Cuts, Construction Sites, Improper Farming Technique

Related Actions

Get On The Water

Getting out on the water is not only fun and great exercise, the more you use the water, the more likely it is you'll think about protecting it. So go ahead, go for a swim, get your fishing pole, take a boat for a ride, or attend a water festival near you.

Become a Water Quality Monitor

Completing water quality monitoring training and adopting a site to regularly test, is a great way to help the community identify problems before they get out of control.

Join a Watershed Group

Volunteer, place-based grassroots groups are committed to creating a clean water future for their communities. Through water quality monitoring, education and outreach, and assessment.

Low Impact Development (LID)

Low Impact Development (LID) techniques imitate natural processes to help rainfall absorb into the ground instead of becoming stomwater runoff requiring culverts, pipes, and basins

Post-Construction Runoff

Regularly inspecting and maintaining detention ponds and other post-construction stormwater elements can prevent problems and improve water quality for everyone’s benefit.

Types of Pollution

When water rushes off hardened surfaces, erosion of sediments degrade water conditions and smother and disrupt seagrass growth and the habitat for benthic organisms they provide.

Compounds like oil, grease, and heavy metals take a long time to break down and threaten the health of both aquatic and human life.

Litter is not only unsightly, but it also causes a variety of problems to the ecosystem as it enters our waters where it is often is mistaken for food by fish and invertebrates.

Too much fertilizer, pet waste, and other nutrients in our water often lead to serious problems like lowering dissolved oxygen levels, preventing seagrass growth, and killing fish.

Disease-causing microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and other single-celled organisms, are referred to as pathogens, some, like Salmonella, cause human health problems.

While pesticides are designed to be toxic to certain organisms, they can often be harmful and kill other species in the marine system that are important for the entire ecosystem.