Runoff Remedies Introduction

Stormwater runoff from homes, businesses, parking lots and streets is the main cause of water pollution in urban and suburban places.

This Runoff-Remedies blog offers guidance to solve problems that harm stream life, damage property  and spoil the uses of local waters.Most communities are unaware that streets dump dirty, oily runoff directly into  waterways. These pollutants accumulate and cause the steady decline of streams, lakes and water supplies.

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rain garden cleanses parking runoff

Runoff-Remedies will explain “how-to” restore healthy waters.   Readers can gain practical advice about Best Management Practices and other ways to prevent and fix polluted runoff.

How to rescue wild trout

Wild trout are living icons wild troutof healthy streams.  Where native Brook Trout thrive, there is safe wholesome water for stream life and people.

Sadly, wild trout that have prospered for 20,000 generations are vanishing from urban and suburban waters.  Not a good sign for fragile ecosystems and a poor reflection on community stewardship of shared waters.

Local growth and development is a chief cause for the plight of wild trout.  Greater storm runoff from buildings, parking and streets dumps into brooks where wild trout live.  Tons of sand and silt clog aquatic habitats and fill up trout nesting areas.  Warm runoff from asphalt raises water temperatures beyond tolerance and robs the oxygen that trout need to survive.  Added to this is less groundwater recharge, which is essential for sustaining stream flows during dry seasons.

Yet, streams damaged by stormwater can be rapidly restored if towns remedy runoff from streets.  And the wild trout will return to delight people of all ages.

Local conservation commissions can play a key part in saving and renewing  native brook trout streams.   Practical guidance  is supplied by “Ten Ways Conservation Commissions Can Help Protect Coldwater Streams and Their Inhabitants“, which is available for free download at http://www.commonwaters.org/images/stories/bgy/10ways_protect_coldwater_streams.pdf .

To learn more about trout, visit http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/fish-wildlife-plants/fish/trout-information.html .  This MA Fisheries & Wildlife webpage includes a capsule of ongoing efforts to restore native “Brookies” across the state.