Incorporating Green Infrastructure at Home
Author: Lori Draz and Jody Sackett
Rivers receive massive amounts of stormwater runoff from roads, sidewalks, roofs, parking lots and packed dirt which contains pollutants like auto emission particulates, pet waste, engine oil, herbicide and fertilizer residues, plastics, tire wear residue and trash. Once these pollutants enter the water, they cause decreased oxygen levels, algal blooms and fish kills. Marine life is severely affected, with declining aquatic populations and species diversity. The Navesink, in particular, has been targeted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as a river that needs remediation. The Rumson Environmental Commission has been keenly focused on rain gardens, in particular, as an effective and attractive solution. They are shallow, landscaped depressions which temporarily collect rainwater until it filters down through the soil while reducing flooding in homeowners’ yards. They are inexpensive to install and can be specifically tailored to their property size and location. Once established, they require less maintenance than a lawn, since they don’t need to be mowed or watered.