What you can do help preserve wetlands of the Northeast Creek basin:
- Start with yourself. Learn about your watershed. Start by using the EPA Watershed Region Information website to find your watershed address and learn about its environmental health. Other useful sites include EPA’s Surf Your Watershed, Envirofacts and Enviromapper websites. Also be sure to check out EPA’s Wetlands web page to learn about the importance of wetlands.
- Identify ways you can help prevent polluted runoff from your home, ranch or farm. Check out Give Water a Hand Exit (for students), EPA’s Nonpoint Source Program website and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service web site to find out how you can be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem.
- Get involved find out where wetlands exist near your home, try to learn more about them, and support educational efforts.
- Support wetlands and watershed protection initiatives by public agencies and private organizations.
- Purchase federal duck stamps from your local post office to support wetland acquisition.
- Participate in the Clean Water Act Section 404 program and state regulatory programs by reviewing public notices and, in appropriate cases, commenting on permit applications.
- Encourage neighbors, developers, and state and local governments to protect the function and value of wetlands in your watershed.
- Rather than draining or filling wetlands, seek compatible uses involving minimal wetland alteration, such as waterfowl production, fur harvest, hay and forage, wild rice production, hunting and trapping leases, and selective timber harvest.
- Select upland rather than wetlands sites for development projects and avoid wetland alteration or degradation during project construction.
- Maintain wetlands and adjacent buffer strips as open space.
- Learn more about wetland restoration activities in your area; seek and support opportunities to restore degraded wetlands.
What you can do to help protect the water quality of the Northeast Creek watershed:
Become involved in land use and development decisions affect your water resources and learn how watershed planning and the watershed approach can help. Find out about model ordinances to protect water quality at EPA’s Model Ordinances to Protect Local Resources web pages and the Center for Watershed Protection. Also learn about alternatives to current development patterns such as low-impact development and smart growth.
Create a wildlife habitat in your backyard, workplace or schoolyard. Certify your backyard or schoolyard as part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program or Schoolyard Habitat Program.
Participate in or help coordinate a special wetlands activity during the month of May to celebrate American Wetlands Month. Visit EPA’s Wetlands website for ideas for special wetland activities. Also, celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by joining in an event to raise awareness about the importance of birds, biological diversity, and wetlands.
Do your part to protect drinking water sources. Individuals, citizen groups, and neighborhoods can participate in many activities that help to protect drinking water sources. Get information about drinking water and how it can be protected at the EPA Source Water Protection website. Find out more about how your drinking water is tested, treated and protected by reading your utility’s yearly water quality report. Check out the National Source Water Collaborative—a coalition of 19 national organizations with a shared recognition of the importance of protecting drinking water sources.
Prepare a presentation about your watershed for a school or civic organization. Explain what a watershed is. Discuss water quality threats, including polluted runoff and habitat loss. Highlight things people can do to protect water quality, including limiting fertilizer use and eliminating herbicides and pesticides. Be sure to provide case studies from other watersheds and to highlight success stories. Research your presentation using a variety of water education materials.
Sponsor a World Water Monitoring Day Event or Watershed Festival in your neighborhood to raise awareness about the importance of watershed protection. Organize the event around a water body in your watershed (e.g., estuary, lake, river, etc.), an issue (protecting drinking water sources), or a national event. Find out how to get involved in or start planning your own monitoring event using the Water Environment Federation’s World Wide Monitoring Day Web site . The Groundwater Foundation’s “Making Waves: How to Put on a Water Festival” and “Making More Waves: Ideas from Across the US and Canada for Organizing Your Water Festival” guidebooks can help you organize a festival in your neighborhood.
Obtain funding for your watershed outreach and public education efforts. Use the following EPA resources to get started: the Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection, Environmental Finance Program, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program.