How Homeowners Can Help

Congratulations! You have decided to do your part for cleaner local streams and rivers…and therefore the Chesapeake Bay!

West Virginia homeowners are urged to do their part in helping to restore the Chesapeake Bay and West Virginia's streams. Excess nutrients, including those contained in common fertilizer, are a leading cause of water quality problems in the Chesapeake Bay, according to scientists. By making small changes around your home, you can make a big impact on water quality. See the documents posted below for several steps you can take to restore the Bay and local streams.

Specifically regarding excess rain and snow runoff (stormwater): If you live in a town or city in the Potomac Basin of West Virginia, your home and yard, and the buildings and yards around you, can cause a lot of runoff to nearby streams and rivers.

As more land is developed, this runoff is creating more problems for our drinking water and other water resources. It transports fertilizers from our lawns, oil and chemicals from our driveways, and bacteria from our pets' waste and malfunctioning septic systems. The sheer volume of the runoff is a problem, too, because it has such erosive force bearing down on our soils and streambanks. This results in silty, polluted streams, groundwater and wells.

Continue scrolling to find out more information on practices that you can install and resources that you can share with others.

  • Changing where your downspouts drain can make an impact

Rain Barrel Reduce Runoff


  • Setting up a rain garden:


  • Tree Planting

Cacapon Institute Forest Chesapeake Bay Forest Program

I have already done one or more of the things listed above

What is a watershed group? WV Dept. of Environmental Protection’s web-page on this subject has many resources: http://www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/getinvolved/WSA_Support/Pages/WGs.aspx