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Study: Picking Up Pet Poop Among Best, Cheapest Ways to Protect Bay

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Picture: New study reveals most cost-effective ways to protect Chesapeake Bay. Picture credit: USDA - ARS
Picture: New study reveals most cost-effective ways to protect Chesapeake Bay. Picture credit: USDA - ARS
 By Alison BurnsContact
April 15, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - It's not just good manners to clean up after your dog. A new study from the Center for Watershed Protection shows it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to keep pollutants out of Chesapeake Bay.

According to study author Karen Cappiella, research program director at the Center, states and local governments are spending millions on projects to reduce storm-water pollution, but they could be saving big bucks with cheaper alternatives.

"This was an attempt to look at which practices are going to get you the most bang for your buck," she described the study.

The project also found that restoring urban streams and repairing sewer line leaks are relatively inexpensive yet effective ways to protect the Bay.

Cappiella noted that one of the biggest problems in older urban communities is overflowing storm-water drains that discharge into local rivers and the Bay.

"They're not supposed to be flowing when it hasn't rained recently," she declared. "So, typically it's an illegal discharge of sewage or wash-water that's not supposed to be coming out of there."

The study found that the least-cost-effective storm-water management initiatives include programs to eliminate or reduce the use of fertilizer on private property.

A link to the full study is at JamesRiverAssociation.org.


Best Practices