The unseasonable warm weather on The Jersey Shore this winter reminds us that Spring is right around the corner… and so is spring planting. This year why not make our yards more environmentally friendly and help save Barnegat Bay? Anyone can create a Bay-Friendly Yard. We can learn how to create a beautiful landscape that does no harm to the environment.
The state is collaborating with Rutgers and Save Barnegat Bay (an enviromental group) to make yards more Jersey friendly.
This partnership has launched an interactive website — www.jerseyyards.org — as part of a new Jersey-Friendly Yards campaign.
The website offers practical ways for homeowners and other landowners to landscape their properties in an environmentally friendly way that will reduce storm-water runoff, capture rainwater, eliminate use of fertilizer and pesticide and replace invasive plant with native species.
State environmental officials said the ultimate goal of this campaign, however, is not to just promote native plants but to reduce storm-water runoff that contaminates rivers and streams from lawns treated with fertilizer and pesticides.
Improving water quality is a key environmental priority of the state, which has adopted some of the toughest fertilizer standards in the nation. These standards are designed to reduce nitrogen and eliminate phosphorous in water runoff that causes excessive algae and aquatic plant growth.
Reducing storm-water pollution is a critical part of the Barnegat Bay Partnership’s efforts to protect and restore the bay.
The Barnegat Bay Partnership is working closely with Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the Ocean County Soil Conservation District to put Jersey-Friendly Yards practices into place by developing demonstration projects with six homeowner associations in the Barnegat Bay watershed.
Winter is a great time for people to take some time to learn about this so that they can plan their landscaping for the spring. The hope is that the project will inspire residential and commercial property owners to change behaviors to ensure that their landscaping practices don’t harm our rivers and bays.
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