When the Mona Lake Watershed Council conducted the field inventory for their watershed management plan in Muskegon County, MI, it quickly became evident that many riparian landowners were using the creeks as dump sites for their fall leaves and summer grass clippings. The Council began an educational campaign aimed at residents, explaining the results of their behavior; storm water runoff carries a slug of decaying material into the creek, adding nutrients and organic matter to the system, and depleting the dissolved oxygen needed by invertebrates and fish.
In addition, the Council approached local cities and townships about passing an ordinance that would ban the sale and use of fertilizers that contain phosphorus. Surprised by the overwhelming support, the Council has been encouraged to aim for a county-wide ban. The Council is moving forward with efforts to do just that. Less fertilizer will mean fewer grass clippings and less nutrient runoff;we all win!
For more information:
Annoesjka Steinman, Mona Lake Watershed Council Director