The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Stream Cleaner Environmental Forum 2011

Points of View & Thoughtful Discussion - Homeowner


Homeowner POV & TD Navigation

USHC - United States Homeowner Corps    MMM Cheese Homeowners   

homeowners against the Destruction of habitats    eco bandits   Bay Sharks    fowl ducks

 Grumpy Granny    SW Homeowners assoc.    World Wide Cleanup   

Berkeley County Homeowners    The american Quartet    Jessica's Home   

The Watersavers    MHS Homes    Sydney's House    alllison and kelseys house-

homeowner love :)   

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Comments for All Homeowners

Response        MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS


              Dear everybody,   I have seen the errors of my ways. I have done some

              research and, I still believe that the bay doesn’t impact me. On the upper side, I

              will change my ways. “Nitrogen pollution is the most serious pollution problem for

              the Bay because it causes algae blooms that consume oxygen. The blooms lower

              dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die.” I found that on

              the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website. I do not want to be the one responsible

              for killing all of the estuary animals. I will help all of you clean up the bay. I will

              start recycling, and buying reusable bags, and I will get a more environmentally

              helpful car to drive. i won’t even fertilize my lawn.  I hope that you all will accept

              my apology and forgive me. Sincerely, MMM Cheese Homeowners.





USHC - United States Homeowner Corps                                                Gonzaga College HS



As homeowners, we feel that our perspective on the problems within the Chesapeake Bay is  extremely important. Because the efforts to maintain the integrity of the Bay are so massive, the funds needed to run clean-up efforts are equally as large. Thus, the money to pay for such works if provided in the form of government subsidies; in other words, the works are paid by the taxpayers (homeowners). Firstly, we would like to ensure the fact that the funds spent in the Bay area will in some way enrich our lives. Although we understand that the biodiversity and cleanliness of the Bay must be preserved, we hope the governments understand the importance of the preservation of the Bay in regards to the local economy. The cleanliness of the Bay and its waters are imperative for tourism and economic growth. If the Bay were to experience a massive influx of pollution, it would be fair to say that the immediate housing market would suffer greatly. In other words, although we understand that the ecology of the waters is an important environmental focal point, we wish to recognize the fact that the cleanliness of the waters is important for homeowner prosperity. On the contrary, we also acknowledge that homeowners are partly responsible for the pollution within the Bay. For this reason, we think it would be intelligent to introduce limits on population developments with the immediate Bay area. Imposing such limits within the entire watershed may be nearly impossible, but limits in popular vacation areas could work well to combat pollution. The limits on the supply of houses would also result in an increase in housing prices, resulting in economic growth of those currently living in the area. In conclusion, we mainly want to acknowledge the fact that homeowners are responsible for the ability to perform such cleanup efforts; for that reason, some of the benefit should be directed back towards the local economy.



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    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       As a government official, it is almost impossible to get a neighboring jurisdiction to

       abide by the same limits on development as another area.  If a county imposes limits on

        development, then a neighboring county may open their arms to developers because

       they see it as more tax revenue, and with more tax revenue, a local government can

       offer more "stuff" to their constituents such as better roads, schools, recreation

       areas, etc.  I think we need a regional type system of government to ensure that

       everyone goes by the same rules is a start. 

        Response        USHC - United States Homeowner Corps - homeowner - GCHS

                             To:  The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS


              You bring up some very valid points Ranger in Power, but I do not think you read

              our argument close enough.  We stated that we think it would be intelligent to

              introduce limits in popular vacation areas.  This is not limited to a county, but

              rather the shoreline.  This means that any county along the shore would part-

              take, not just one county.  However, I do agree that if one county sees a chance

              to bypass another county with better roads, schools, recreation areas, etc. they




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MMM Cheese Homeowners                                                                          North Harford HS



The bay is worthless. I don't care what happens to it. I am a home owner! I pay to live  where I do. I don't want anybody telling me what to do with my land that I own. The only good thing that comes out of the bay is fish. You can get fish out of any waterway anyways. Homeowners are not the ones destroying the bay anyway. It is the construction companies fault. They are destroying land to make houses and stuff like that. They are the ones making grounds impervious. When the ground is impervious, the dirt and chemicals the companies use run into the bay. According to the Chesapeake bay program, as water runs across an impervious surface it picks up pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus and chemical contaminants that can harm aquatic life.

( ) .




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    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask


       I read your POV and I'm pretty curious as to why you think the bay is so useless? You

       stated that the construction companines are at fault not the homeowners. However,

       the construction companies are making the houses you live in... Where do you think you

       get the water you use?(Drinking, Bathing, etc.)You also state that you can get fish

       from other waterways. There are more than one kind fish out there, and there is a

       variety of fish that live in the Bay. The bay also provides fun activites for toutrists to

       engage in. This money goes to the area you live in. Therefor the bay is important and

       does affect you dramatically.

    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask


       Well, if the bay is so useless then I guess you don't need the food that comes from it.

       Such as your lovely shrimp cocktails or expensive lobster dinners.

    From:   One Shot One Kill - farmer - LHS                                                          Ask


       First of all, construction companies are the ones that build your houses that you live in.

        You may choose where you want to live but someones gotta build it unless you'd

       rather live in a box. The land that you live on now used to be a forest. What makes you

        think you have the right to live where you want? The government decides if you can

       build a house on your property or not through zoning regulations.

    From:   Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS                                                           Ask


       I think that you are just plain rude. You should care about the bay!! You must be

       heartless if you don't care. Don't be a jerk, care about our ecosystem and the bay!!!

       Thank you.

    From:   Fairview Farmers - farmer - LHS                                                            Ask


       I want to know how you say its not yalls fault as home owners and then turn around

       and say it's the construction company's fault for building houses.

    From:   Luray Farmers - farmer - LHS                                                                Ask


       You all are pretty ill-informed to think that the bay is worthless. Homeowners are a big

        cause to the bay being polluted.When your house was constructed the materials used

       were very harmful to the enviornment, so the person to blame is you. Also you say the

       construction people are the ones to blame but you are the one that wants the house

       built so it is not the construction company's fault.

    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


       You are worthless. We don't care what happens to you.  By ignoring problems in the

       bay, you are killing innocent van people.  We need a new place to leave our amputated

       limbs, can we drop them at your house? You say the only good thing that comes out of

       the bay is fish, well now the fish are all dead.  Thanks alot. :)

    From:   making a live on the water - Waterman - PPS                                        Ask


       okey well 1st, lets go back a bit because umm, you should care about the bay!, because

        that is where u live, if i lived nere the bay i would want it to be clean and look very

       nice, but thats just me.. not unless your a low life crumm ball that has no respect 4 the

        enviroment...BUT THATZ JUST ME! And 2nd if you where smart enough you would

       care about the bay ALSO because that is where you get you food and water!duuhh

       stupid! so you can keep sayin stupid stuff about how you dont care just trying to be

       cool,,, bt ur just killing yourself!. And 3rd, people like you who dont care n try blaming

       all there problems on other people, should be the 1st people to die from pollution!!! so

       have a nice day n hope you really thing things through:P

    From:   Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS                                                         Ask


       How is the bay worthless if it produces about 500 million pounds of seafood a year,

       and supports more than 3,600 species of plants, fish, and animals?

    From:   WE R FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - farmer - PPS                                                 Ask


       why don't you care for the bay????????????????????????????

    From:   John Deere Green Farmers - farmer - EHHS                                         Ask


       Saying that "the bay is worthless" could possibly win the ignorant comment of the

       week award.  The bay deffinatley isn’t worthless to you, if the bay’s fishing industry

       goes down the drain, this in turn will effect the large tourism business in your area. 

       This will cause you state government to raise your taxes to bring in more revenue to

       replace what the tourism economy lost.  So you and granny have fun with that…just


    From:   Wally the Waterman - Waterman - NHHS                                             Ask


       Dude, really??? I do not understand you do not care about the bay.It is an awesome

       resource. Well maybe if you think things through you will come to your senses.


Response        MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS


              Dear everybody,   I have seen the errors of my ways. I have done some

              research and, I still believe that the bay doesn’t impact me. On the upper side, I

              will change my ways. “Nitrogen pollution is the most serious pollution problem for

              the Bay because it causes algae blooms that consume oxygen. The blooms lower

              dissolved oxygen levels so severely that fish and shellfish die.” I found that on

              the Chesapeake Bay Foundation website. I do not want to be the one responsible

              for killing all of the estuary animals. I will help all of you clean up the bay. I will

              start recycling, and buying reusable bags, and I will get a more environmentally

              helpful car to drive. i won’t even fertilize my lawn.  I hope that you all will accept

              my apology and forgive me. Sincerely, MMM Cheese Homeowners.

    From:   The american Quartet - homeowner - MslmnHS                                     Ask


       I don't agree with what you're saying about when you say the bay is worthless. The

       bay has living other living organisms in it besides fish. Do you like seafood? If so, then

       a lot of the seafood you eat comes from the bay. If the animals are getting harmful

       chemical in their bodies and such then they can die off and then what happens to the

       price of seafood? It goes up. It may not be you exactly that is harming the bay, but

       there are other idiots that like to dump their garbage and all of that gets into the bay.

    From:   Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H                                                        Ask


       Dear MMM, I like the fact that you changed your mind. I also have come to realize

       that maybe I can do a bit more to save the bay, mostly for the sake of my (our)

       grandchildren. I believe now that even though I may have a relatively small carbon


    From:   Sydney's House - homeowner - MslmnHS                                                Ask


       It seems to me you are just a very self absorbed person.  Everyone contributed to the

        bay pollution, everyone should care.  This was the animals' land first, you know?



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homeowners against the Destruction of habitats                                          James Wood HS


Imagine running a city without a steady population, or managing a business without

customers. It can't be done. To have a well developed, habitable town, there must be a

population of avid homeowners who are willing to lend a hand to their community. Our

organization, H.A.D.H. represents this group of people, helping them get their foot in the

door and make their stance known. Our affiliates not only stimulate the economy, but also

provide support for local business and the people required to get things done. We make up

the largest group of people across the country and it's about time our grievances are put

to rest. The pollution and damage in the Chesapeake Bay Area causes many problems in our

lives. Not only does it obviously affect the quality of life but also cause health issues for us

 and our children. The pollution directly effects our food sources; killing many plants and

animals causing higher prices for low quality. We all are to blame though, homeowners

create more than their share of waste and use dangerous chemicals as fertilizer. Many

people in our organization are ready and willing to offer mutually beneficial solutions and

help put them into action. Common supported plans include planting buffers, creating a

government program, and controlling industry runoff. Of course all these things take

money, but our patrons are willing to donate and even petition to raise taxes if needed. Our

 members already have been organizing in unofficial groups, attempting to gain all the

support we can throughout neighborhoods and towns. Many people do not realize the

gravity of the situation, and we need to work together to spread word. Hold events, grab

attention of local clubs and groups, and explain how dangerous this happening really is.

Before long the land will begin to deteriorate and it will be too late to act, and nobody will

know what to do. We have to work together to take care of our environment, and

Homeowners Against the Destruction  of Habitats is here to help out along the way.




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    From:   The american Quartet - homeowner - MslmnHS                                     Ask


I completely agree with your point of view, it is very well thought out, and well explained.

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eco bandits                                                                                                   Rappahannock HS


Since 1970 there has been a steady increase in the population in the Chesapeake Bay

Watershed. They predict that by 2030 the population will grow to about 21.28 million

people. One of the major issues with the Chesapeake Bay is "Homeowner Pollution." A major

 issue is the location of homeowners' lawns. Another major problem is the over use of

fertilizers and insect killers or pesticides that get washed into the Bay by rain runoffs.


When fertilizer runs off into the Bay they kill submerged aquatic vegetation. It also

eliminates essential habitats for fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life. The fertilizers empty

 into the Bay and limit the amount of oxygen for the various numbers of plant and animal



 Since 1960, there have been substantial increases in the amount of Bay bottom with

dangerously low levels of dissolved oxygen. Water running off lawns, roads, and other

surfaces pick up nutrients, bacteria, and chemicals. It gets carried to storm drains, and

then drop them directly into the streams in our watershed. They cause many problems for

living things, including humans that live or interact with our watershed. Extra nutrients

make algae to grow, which takes the oxygen from the water and makes it unlivable for fish,

 snails, and other organisms. Over time, the sediments are carried downstream to the Bay,

where it combines with sediment from other urban streams in the Bay. Sediments are one

reason the Chesapeake Bay is unhealthy.


In order to start saving the Bay, people need to start taking precautions beginning with

planting more trees, attracting native birds and insects. We can also reduce lawn area

because lawn chemicals and gas power motors can pollute the Bay. Manage your yard's

wastes by composting instead of sending the trash to landfills or into the streets. Minimize

the use of chemical fertilizers - use compost to add fertilizer the soil. Use natural methods

 to control insect pests and weeds. Maintain your septic system by pumping it our every

three to five years and consider nitrogen remover for your new septic tank. Manage your

pet's waste because it produces chemicals that can harm the Bay.


As you can see, there are many ways to save the Chesapeake Bay. As the population rapidly

increases, it can either make us or break us. One person can't do much, but together we

can make a difference. The Chesapeake Bay depends on YOU.



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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Cleaning out and repairing septic systems is one of the very important actions that you

       mentioned that will need to occur in order to reclaim the Bay.  However, many houses

       that are on septic systems instead of MS4s are in very low income areas.  Who do you

       think should pay for the septic systems to be pumped out?


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Bay Sharks                                                                                                   Rappahannock HS


  I am a homeowner of land on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Did you know

approximately seventeen million people live in the Chesapeake Bay? Did you also know that

all things we do on land, including the use of automobiles, fertilizers, pesticides, toilets,

water, and electricity affect the stream, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay itself.  These

necessities that seem so simple to us can pollute the bay in a way we could never imagine. 

There are three main source problems of pollution in the bay, nitrogen pollution, suburban

sprawl, and misunderstanding or unawareness of the homeowners.

  Nitrogen pollution in the Chesapeake Bay comes mostly from sewage treatment plants,

large-scale animal operations, agriculture, and air pollution (from vehicle exhaust), as well

as industrial sources such as power plants.  Other sources of nitrogen pollution include

septic systems, roadway runoff, development, residential and commercial lawn fertilizers,

and air deposition from factories.  There are many solutions we need to consider and

participate in to reduce the nitrogen pollution entering the bay.  These solutions include

upgrading sewage treatment plants, operating septic systems properly, and using nitrogen

removal technologies on septic systems.  Many of these things we can get involved with by

participating in local, state, and national government.  However, there are things that we

can do at home to little by little decrease the negative affect of nitrogen on the bay.  We

can stop using so much fertilizer on our lawns, conserve energy (resulting in fewer

demands on power plants that emit nitrogen), and drive less (which reduces vehicle

emissions that also contribute to airborne nitrogen that can later enter the bay.)

  Suburban sprawl is defined as the development of land further away from populated

areas and centers of business.  This means that city-like building projects are moving

closer to areas that affect the Chesapeake Bay.  The construction accompanying suburban

sprawl usually takes place in rural areas with open spaces, such as forests, farms, and

wetlands, which are crucial to the health of the bay.  These new housing developments and

the other buildings necessary to support these developments (roads, shopping centers, gas

stations, etc.) bring accompanying pollution.  This pollution comes from septic tanks, vehicle

emissions, and land runoff.  These pollutants can harm the water quality of the rivers,

streams, and the bay itself.  Haphazard development strips the watershed of buffers, and

pollution flows into the waterways.  Farms, factories, cities, and suburbs have replaced

these natural filters and damaged water quality so severely that the Chesapeake Bay is on

the "dirty waters" list made by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency.)Finally,

suburban sprawl can lead to harming wildlife by building on or near the animal's habitats.

  The population of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed continues to grow by more than

100,000 people each year, with about seventeen million currently.  This is a lot of people,

and most residents living in the bay area don't even realize that they affect the bay in

their daily lives.  We, as homeowners of the Chesapeake Bay, need to stay informed on

problems of the Chesapeake Bay, and work to help restore the bay in any way we can.  One

 way to help restore the Chesapeake Bay is to get involved in pushing legislation to help

clean the bay.  Simple ways to help the Bay both directly and indirectly include conserving

energy, carpooling, joining a local watershed group or environmental organization, and

recycling. Other ways to help restore the bay and decrease pollution in the Chesapeake Bay

 is to maintain your septic system, reduce household hazardous waste, reduce fertilizer put

 into backyard,  and use pesticides carefully.  Lastly, Americans drive about 2.5 trillion

miles per year consuming 25% of the world's oil.  Every time you drive, nitrogen oxides

from your engine are emitted into the air and fall onto the roads, which then makes its way

 into the bay.  These nitrogen oxides fuel the growth of alga blooms in the bay and increase

 water acidity.  To decrease the amount of nitrogen oxides emitted from vehicles, we need

to reduce the miles we drive, observe the speed limit, maintain our cars, dispose used motor

 oil, and use antifreeze properly.  We also need to clean up any spills that result from

fixing or working on our cars.

  From 1950 through 2008, the Chesapeake Bay watershed's' population doubled in size.

From 2000 to 2008, the population of the Bay has increased by over a million people.  It is

important that all of us, as homeowners, stay informed on the bay and do everything we

can to restore it.  Let's remember the main reasons or sources of pollution in the bay are caused by three main things, nitrogen pollution, suburban sprawl, and the unawareness of citizens and homeowners of the Chesapeake Bay.  It is our job to help stop these sources of pollution; after all, our health depends on the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.




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    From:   Student Developers - developer - JWHS                                                Ask


       very nice,, n everything is TRUE:D

    From:   crabby ecotours - recreation - NHHS                                                     Ask


       17 million people live IN the Bay? Wow I didn’t know that! I wish I could live

       underwater. On a serious note isn’t it really expensive to fix some of these problems?

    From:   Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS                                                           Ask


       Good job, I agree with you!!




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fowl ducks                                                                                                    Rappahannock HS


Topic: Air Pollution/ Car Pollution


Most of us may think that the Chesapeake Bay watershed is a wonderful and healthy place

to live in but actually every day the Bay is being polluted by many different sources in the

point and nonpoint sources. The Chesapeake Bay is where thousands of people live, play, and

 work in. If we continue to not care about our actions then where we live now may not be

there for our generations and maybe even their generation. Little things everyday will help

the environment get better day by day if everyone do something every day.


Approximately one-third of the nitrogen that pollutes the Chesapeake Bay comes from air

pollution, and vehicles are the largest source of airborne nitrogen. Nitrogen oxides,

ammonia, and organic nitrogen are three specific nitrogen compounds released into the air.

Nitrogen oxides (Nox) are primarily released into the air as a by-product of combustion

(burning of fossil fuels) and accounts for approximately 60% of the inorganic airborne

nitrogen. Ammonia is released into the air through evaporation and emissions from industry

processes and wastes from living creatures. Organic nitrogen is released through organic

nitrogen compounds (pollen, nicotine, and caffeine) containing carbon. Another pollutant

that is emitted into the air are chemical contaminants that are released into the air and can

 affect the Bay includes metals such as mercury that is released into the air when coal, oil,

natural gas, and hazardous wastes are burned. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are found

in some species of fish caught in parts of the Bay watershed that comes from old

electrical transformers, landfills and hazardous waste sites, and circuit breakers,

fluorescent light ballast and other types of electrical equipment that contain electric

insulating fluid and they can cause humans to obtain cancer from the animals. PABs------


Nitrogen released into the air can increase audity of surface waters and soil.

-This can diminish the growth, reproduction, and survival of trees and underwater life.

-The formation of ground-level ozone, which is known  to cause serious human respiratory

problems and damage plants and other animals

-Contamination fo drinking water sources as it filters through the grand and accumulates in

 groundwater aquifers.

Chemical contaminants when released into the air has the same effect as those released on

 the ground can persist in the environment and accumulate in the tissue of plants and

animals, moving through the food web and affecting growth and reproductive in living

creatures of all sizes.


There are many solutions for air pollution including:

-Reducing the amount of miles you drive. Fewer miles driven means fewer nutrients and

chemical contaminants emitted from your car into the air.

-Purchase a fuel-efficient automobile. You'll get farther on less gas and keep more money

in your pocket.

-Observe the speed limit, as fuel economy decreases are speeds above 55 mph.

-Use cruise control to help you maintain a constant speed, and in most cases reduce your

fuel consumption and engine wear.

-Accelerate gently and evenly to maximize fuel efficiency.

-Avoid unnecessary idling, which wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air, no

matter how efficient your car is.

-Use your vehicle's flow-through vents to stay cool. Using your air conditioning or opening

your cars window can decrease your fuel efficiency by 21%.

-Maintain your boats engine to reduce exhaust and emissions

-Don't brake often because 50% of the energy needed to power your car acceleration            .

-Dispose of oil and antifreeze properly.


The Chesapeake Bay 'the largest estuary in the United States - is an incredibly complex

ecosystem that includes important habitats and food webs. The Bay and its rivers, wetlands

 and forests provide homes, food and protection for diverse groups of animals and plants.

Fish of all types and sizes either live in the Bay and its tributaries year-round or visit its

waters as they migrate along the East Coast. Nitrogen, Ammonia, and Organic nitrogen are

released every day through Stationary and are sources, mobile sources, agricultural

sources, and natural sources, from nonpoint and point sources. The Bay is being polluted by everyone even though we don’t know it. If we all do something different every day then the Bay can become healthier.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Very Thorough POV.  Good job explaining several types of air pollution and their effect

        on the Chesapeake Bay.  

       How does nitrogen from air pollution get into the water in the bay? 

       What forms of nitrogen are the most problematic?


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Grumpy Granny                                                                                                     Horizons 4H


The bay is dying. So what? Why should I care? It doesn’t affect me directly. I do not eat

seafood. I do not live near enough to the bay to see it regularly. I have no fisher, farmer

or developer friends who are being affected by either the unhealthy bay or the regulations

 on how to help keep it cleaner. I live fairly far away from the bay, so how could I be

having much of an effect on it? I do not litter, fertilize, dump waste, or do anything else

terribly polluting. So why do I have to be constantly barraged with people telling me to

‘protect my bay’?

Those people lobbying to protect the bay should target the troublemakers, and not innocent

 civilians such as myself. I pick up after my dog like any responsible person, and as I said I

do not fertilize, so there is no reason I am contributing to the over-nutrification of the

bay. You could say that my car may leak oil or other harmful chemicals, but I do not drive

a car, preferring public transportation when I need to go out. Indeed, I don’t even own a

car. Also as previously mentioned, I do not litter, even picking up trash I see when I am

walking my dog (her name is Sparkles). I conserve energy, use compact flourescent light

bulbs, and  recycle! What more do you want me to do?

It seems that no matter what I do, environmentalists, school groups, newspapers and even

the local governments keep telling me to clean up my act. This makes me quite grumpy. It is

 true that the bay is polluted, but do not look to me to help make it cleaner. Enforce new

regulations on the farmers, developers, manufacturing plants and other big-time polluters.

You will get my support, such as it is, by doing those things, but if you try to put more on

me, and other innocent homeowners like me, I will sue ya’ll.



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    From:   The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS                                                   Ask


       I guess you will have to sue but everything we do will affect you from a government

       standpoint.  As a government official, we will envoke "sovereign domain" if someone

       sues.  Good luck!

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  The Ranger in Power - local_gov - LHS


              Sovereign Domain, eh? I'd like to see you try. If you enact stupid laws telling me

              what I "HAVE" to do to save your freakin' bay, I WILL sue you. And I will win.

    From:   MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS                                   Ask


       Dear Grumpy Granny, I think I love you. We get along so well and have so many

       similarities. You seem like a very smart person and I admire you. I completely agree

       with your views and ideas. And the part about sueing people is just plain awesome!!! If

       you want, i could be your grumpy grandpa

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS


              You could be my grumpy grandpa if you bring the cheese. I believe we would get

              along quite well. Your veiwpoint is quite similar to mine, and I think we could have

              some lively debates.


    From:   Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H                                                        Ask


       Oh, silly grandpa. They do have a point that the construction company likely built your

       house.  But I forgive you. Besides, we do not need so many new houses- just keep the

       old ones in good condition and reuse them! Maybe MMM Cheese's house has been

       passed down for generations, and was built by an ancestor in the first place. It is true

       hat MAYBE a construction company was involved, but not necessarily. In addition,

       construction companies do not just build houses. They are building many other useless

       buildings and impervious surfaces. Don't worry MMM- Granny doesn't think you are


    From:   MMM Cheese Homeowners - homeowner - NHHS                                   Ask


       I'll bring the cheese, of course, anything for you grumpy granny. And my house was

       built by my ancestors so there was no involvement of any danged construction

       company.  =)


    From:   Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS                                                           Ask


       Dear Grumpy Granny, I think that you're viewpoint is wrong. The bay is very

       worthwhile and the construction company's and homeowner's are both to blame. I

       think that you're relationship with MMM Cheese Homeowner is very cute though.

       Seeing two grumpy, old people always makes me smile a bit. Hopefully the two of you

       will see the faults in your ways and better yourselves.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  Bay Bum - CB_Ecosystem - NHHS


              Dear Bay Bum, I appreciate that you say 'I think your viewpoint is wrong,' not,

              'your viewpoint is wrong.' That made a lot of difference to this old Granny. It is

              important that we remember that these are OPINIONS, and none of them are

              inherently wrong. Your apparent respect for your elders despite the difference in

               opinion is quite touching, and because of it I may look into a few extra things I

              could do for the bay. Maybe I will bring it up at my knitting circle and discuss it

              with my grandchildren. Being polite and persuasive is the way to go to get any of

              my support- not yelling and telling me how wrong I am! Grannies are quite

              stubborn, I'll have you know, and trying to force us to do something is the

              opposite of how to get things done.


              P.S. I am also glad you enjoy our relationship- so do I. >=}


    From:   Oyster shucker - Other - NHHS                                                             Ask


       Just because it doesn't effect you directly doesn't mean the bay is worthless. People

       are losing jobs due to the pollution of the bay. Just because you are not part of the

       problem doesn't mean you can't be part of the solution. Stop being so selfish!

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  Oyster shucker - Other - NHHS


              Selfish! You dare call me selfish?! Selfish is you uppity youngsters thinking you

              have the right to make me do what you want me to. I am my own person, and you

              are not allowed to tell me what to do!

              I am sorry that you are losing your jobs, but there is nothing much I can do

              about that.


    From:   One Shot One Kill - farmer - LHS                                                          Ask


       What other useless buildings are construction companies building? Wastewater

       treatment plants? "It is the hat MAYBE" can you please spell correctly? If you live in

       a house that your ancestors built then it is probably made out of sticks.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  One Shot One Kill - farmer - LHS


              There are MANY other buildings that the construction companies are building.

              Look around you! Unless you are COMPLETELY unobservant (or live out in the

              boonies) I am sure you will find that there are buildings EVERYWHERE. I have

              faith in your observational skills, however, so I trust you will see what I am

              talking about. On another note, typing "hat" instead of "that" is not spelling

              something wrong, it is a simple typo. Also, my exact statement was, "

              it is true hat MAYBE," NOT "It is the hat MAYBE." Can you please quote



    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


       Really? Stop being so ignorant. No one actually picks up after their dog. You could

       always do more, plant a freakin' rain garden or something.  Maybe, you could help

       spread the word and make other people as aware of this as you.  ….


       P.s. Maybe you should look up "sovereign domain" before you start shutting people

            down.  Edited by Moderator.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS


              Well, I actually pick up after my dog, and so does everyone I know. If you and

              the people you know don't, I think we've found the problem. *stares pointedly in a

               grumpy and disapproving manner*

              "About 60% of dog walkers claim to pick up after their dog some or all of the

              time" (Swann, 1999; HGIC, 1998; and Hardwick, 1997).

              60% Constitutes 'most' don't you think? Furthermore, many states and counties

              have laws against not picking up after your dog. You had better clean up your act

              soon, or you'll have some heavy fines coming your way.

              "Animal Defecation ("pooper scooper" law) (Montgomery County Code, Sec. 5-


              An owner must not allow an animal to damage or defecate on property outside of

              the owner's property. An animal may defecate on public property or the common

              area of property in which the owner shares an interest if the owner immediately

              removes and disposes of the feces by a sanitary method approved by the

              Director. Feces may be picked up in a plastic bag. If this bag is placed inside

              another plastic bag, it may be put out for disposal in your normal household trash.


              Penalty for Violation - $100"

              That may not be from your particular county, but it is about the same for many



              I have already told the nice young Bay Bum that I will spread the word to my

              knitting circle, but you just very nearly convinced to to change my mind. You should

              take some tips from him on respecting your elders. I do hope you are not teaching

              your children your manners (or your dog poop maintenance), as it would be a pity to

              pass them on to the next generation.


    From:   WE R FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - farmer - PPS                                                 Ask


       Eveyone should car and the waters. its not like we get new water. Weve had the same

       water sence million on years ago.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  WE R FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - farmer - PPS


              I'm sorry, but I did not understand what you were trying to say. Rethink your

              statement, RETYPE your statement, then send it again. After that I will reply,



    From:   John Deere Green Farmers - farmer - EHHS                                         Ask


       Well Grumpy Granny, you say that the bay doesn’t affect you directly but have you

       thought about how it can affect you in the long run?? The bay becoming polluted can

       cause a chain reaction to the rest of the world and sooner or later it will affect you.

       So although you don’t eat seafood, where else do you think your food come from?? So

       from our point of view, you come off as the kind of person that doesn’t have a heart.

       So you better watch your back because it will come back to you!!

    From:   CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS                                                                Ask


       The water that you say is useless is used in millons of homes in the bay area is water

       that lots of people drink. It is also on of the most biologically diverse areas of water in

        the world. You need to understand that though you may not cause major pollution

       every person can contribute and help. The government has approved this act and what

       we must do to clean the bays. We are discussing the largest estuary in the United

       States do we really want to watch this gift be destroyed?

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  CAKE - CB_Ecosystem - EHHS


              I understand your point. Though I am old and set in my ways, I am beginning to

              understand the importance of keeping the bay clean. Thank you, CAKE, for being

              so polite about it.


    From:   John Deere Green Farmers - farmer - EHHS                                         Ask


       Well Grumpy Granny, you are acting just as your name implies. How can you not see

       the seriousness of the bays problems and how it is beginning to affect mankind as a

       whole. Ya might wanna get yourelf a new pair of bifocals. Just because it's not

       affecting you directly, doesn't mean that it isn't going to eventually take a toll on your

        life. You probably shouldn't get so upset when new regulations are created because

       they aren't made just to make your life miserable. They are created to help solve the

       bays problems. Which is why we are doing this.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  John Deere Green Farmers - farmer - EHHS


                It will not affect me in the long run, because I will be dead. My food comes

              from a variety of places, including farms, factories,,, and foreign countries. I

              assure you that despite your apparent disbelief, I do, indeed have a heart. Though

               I am old and grumpy, AND acting just as my name implies. That however, should

              be obvious. Though karma could come back at me for something wrong I've done

              in my life, I don't really think it will, and I won't be watching for it. Nor do I

              need new bifocals-my eyesight is 20/20-and I resent you suggesting that I do.


              On the other hand, I do have descendants, and I would hate for the poor

              decisions of people in this generation to affect them negatively. So I will be sure

              to spread the word about helping the bay. I still do not believe here is much more

              I as an individual can do (I can't exactly go out and pick up trash, or lobby to

              senators or such), but I will be sure to do my best to get others involved.


    From:   A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS                                                               Ask


       You point out the percentage of those dog owners who say they have picked up their

       dogs "droppings" but did they really go and ask every single dog owner? And how can

       you be sure that some did'nt just lie about it.  Also who picks up their dogs "droppings"

        with their hands? Why would u pick that up if your going to remove it use a pooper

       scooper, come on now.Do you really wanna walk around with that on your hands?  Your

        full of exactly that.

        Response        Grumpy Granny - homeowner - H4H

                             To:  A Van & 6 Kids - Other - LHS


              Did I ever say that people should pick up dog poop with their naked hands? Why,

              no, I did not. Use a bag or a scooper for goodness sake! No, of course they did

              not ask every single dog owner. Nor do most polls ask EVERY SINGLE anyone!

              They work from a sample group, say, 1000 people to choose an easy number, poll

              them, and repeat the process with several groups. They then average the

              percentage and report that. It would be ridiculous to ask every single dog owner,

              and difficult and pointless besides! Perhaps some DID lie about it. But I prefer to

               believe that there are people out there in this world better than you. For all of

              your uppityness and righteousness about protecting the bay, if you can't even

              manage to pick up your own dog's poop, I would say you are in no position to talk.



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SW Homeowners assoc.                                                                                 James Wood HS


Being a homeowner in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, our role is vital in helping restore POV:

and maintain the water quality of the area. The Bays problems affect us directly as

homeowners considering that we rely on the watershed to supply us with clean drinking

water. This should be an incentive to help, because we contribute to the pollution of our

water due to the runoff from our lawns/yards and littering. We need to start getting

involved, otherwise the government will have to intervene which may result in taxes.

The thing is, many homeowners aren't adequately informed about the consequences of our

actions to the water quality. Local communities need to set up workshops for all residents

interested in being better stewards for the environment. It will bring participants together

with environment experts and government representatives for a full day of conservation

related activities. It should give fellow homeowners of ideas on how to do their part in

helping. The workshop should also show that there is a variety of simple and inexpensive

solutions we can all do that would benefit not only us, but the whole watershed. Some of

these include removing non-native invasive species and planting native species, which require

less water. Diverting drain spout water away from impervious surfaces, and even watering


If we all contribute to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, homeowners aren't going to be the

only ones to benefit from it. Farmers, as well as Watermen will be greatly affected, and

will be able to prosper. Tourism would increase signifigantly due to the cleanliness of the

Bay and flourishing plant life and wildlife. All in all, we all need positively contribute to the




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    From:   USHC - United States Homeowner Corps - homeowner - GCHS             Ask


       You seem very concerned about the runoff from your lawns and littering and how it

       will affect your drinking water quality. Realistically all of your drinking water goes

       through filtration before it gets to your home, so this would easily filter out trash and

       other chemical runoff, which it is designed to do. Shouldn't you be more concerned

       about how these things will affect the wildlife or environment. If you were to take a

       more selfish approach wouldnt you be more worried about the affect on housing value

       and recreational activities. Also, you mention invasive species, which species are you

       reffering to? and how does the native species needing less water help clean up the

       Chesapeake Bay Watershed? Perhaps some of the solutions you were referring to

       were reducing the amount of garbage we put out, or eliminating pesticide use. Either

       way these problems still do not affect our drinking water, but more our lifestyle.

    From:   Daring Developer - developer - NHHS                                                     Ask


       I think that you brought up very great points about the removal of non-native species.

       However, you did not adress your opinion on homeowners using fertilizers on their

       lawns and gardens- which is also contributing to the pollution of the Bay. How do you

       stand on fertilizers?

    From:   The american Quartet - homeowner - MslmnHS                                     Ask


       who is going to pay for these workshops you mentioned?



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World Wide Cleanup                                                                                               Paw Paw S


       My friend and I are writing an essay about being homeowners. We are going to talk POV:

about why you should be careful with everything you do with the environment.  I live next

to the Potomac River and that means I should watch what I throw out and dispose of such

as, trash and other materials. The river that we live near is polluted and we thought about

how we could make it better for the animals that use the river and even the environment.

Even a polluted river can harm a lot then just the river which is the animals, humans and

environments.  Harming the river can harm humans because we need water and fish which

lives in rivers. You should try to keep the environment clean because everything we throw

out leads to the water. The rain makes all the waste leads it to the river. You should not

litter or throw waste into the river. Making the river clean can help us not just because of

the river but everything around the river. The fish are suffering because of all of the

bacteria and the waste that have been dumped. The water and made the fish ill and


           I really do not think that the cost should be much of a problem because we're

helping our environment and all we have to give up is our free time. Think about it, the

solution will benefit us directly, because our environment would be cleaner, also the rivers,

lakes, and pounds which are a big part of the watershed.  My partner and I think that best

way to get people involved in this world wide cleanup would be to really put it out into every

 community to think about what they're doing to their Earth because they are only killing

themselves by polluting our world. That is how I think we could get people involved to be in

a club that cleans up our environment. That is our essay on trying to be home owner and

talking about their environment.




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    From:   The american Quartet - homeowner - MslmnHS                                     Ask


       I too live near the potomac river, and agree that we should donate out time to help the

        ecosystem in this area. The wildlife would benefit from this greatly. Who knows, the

       tourism to the area may benefit aswell if we clean up, and possible reintroduce a few



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Berkeley County Homeowners                                                                            Musselman HS



I am a homeowner in Berkeley County and I would like to be a representative for the

county of our septic issues. I understand that in this area we have many problems with our

septic. One thing is that half of them are not working correctly. Our main goal is to work on

 the pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. We can clean up our septic, we may struggle but I

have recently been looking into new things to help out, and I have an idea for our

community.  At the Canaan Valley Institute, they have been using a very unique system.

Canaan Valley Institute is providing high quality wastewater treatment at affordable costs.

This benefits small, rural and sometimes low income communities. The answer for small

communities is decentralized systems. This system does not rely on expensive sewers to

collect sewage. If changing the way we can use our septic, in order to help the out the

watershed program, then I'm okay with that. We need to change a few things to help the

Chesapeake Bay not have as much pollution. If we can stop the septic from polluting the

Chesapeake, then we would be in good shape.  The Canaan Valley Institute uses a big

greenhouse, with a lot of plants to clean out their septic. They used all exotic plants in the

greenhouse.  They used Cyclades, a type of exotic flower and many other planets.  Instead

of all of the expensive hassle of using expensive sewers, why not use a greenhouse? I think

 that maybe we should try to incorporate this system into our community.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       This is a very innovative and thinking outside the box idea.  However, many low income

       families cannot even afford to get their septic tank pumped out.  How much would

       these green houses cost per toilet?  What incentives and/ or laws do you propose to

       get this plan off the ground and make it a reality? 


       What other possible problems and solutions do foresee in implementing this plan?


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The american Quartet                                                                                       Musselman HS


My position is a homeowner. Resources for landscaping with native plants help the Bay.

Landscaping with native plants improves the environment. Native plants are hardy because

they have adapted to the local conditions. Once established, native plants do not need

pesticides, fertilizers, or watering. By eliminating or minimizing the use of pesticides and

fertilizers, these pollutants will not run-off into streams, lake, and bays. Not only is this

good for the environment, it saves time and money. A native landscape does not need to be

mowed like a conventional lawn. This reduces the demand for non-renewable resources and

 improves the water and air quality. US EPA.



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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       How will you convince other land owners and stake holders to stop mowing and start

       planting native?  Several home owner associations actually have rules dictating that

       residence must keep their grass bellow a certain length.


       After planted, how would you prevent people from putting on too much fertilizers and

       pesticides, especially when plants are becoming established? 


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Jessica's Home                                                                                                 Musselman HS


As a homeowner I would not take my time and effort to voluntarily clean the Bay---unless

it was saving my family and me money.   I see no point in putting forth work that isn't going

 to benefit us in the long run. If there were small things that I could do to better the Bay

without costing money out of my pocket, I would be willing to do that.


  I see nothing wrong in driving less and buying local foods because it saves my family

money. Also, by not driving, you would have to exercise and put forth effort to get from

place to place which is healthy. I would also be willing to stop flushing medicines and drugs

down the drain because that is something small that can stop contamination in the Bay. 


  However, I am not going to take shorter showers because that is asking too much. I will

continue to shower as long as I please because I do not see how that contaminates the Bay

 in any way. While researching things that could better the Bay, I read that you can "grow

an oyster garden" which I find is entirely too tedious and time consuming because it takes

years to be successful.  I also think that asking someone to pay $10-20 for a vanity license

 plate( in Virginia or Maryland) more a year to "help the Bay" is ridiculous with gas and food

 prices being so high.


  Of course I think that helping the Bay stay clean is important, but I do not think that I

should have to spend my own money to do so. I think that it is perfectly fine to change

some little things that I do, but I will not go out of my way to help, especially with my

money that I have earned for my family.



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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       This POV did a good job of taking the point of view of that one homeowner in every

       community that cant be bothered to put in the time or energy.  Every town has one,

       and I am glad that POV is represented in this forum. 


       According to the Chesapeake bay program, pollution has caused billions of dollars in

       economic damage to the Chesapeake bay watershed's Economy.  Over the last 30

       years the decline of the oyster fishery alone has cost the economy $4 billion dollars. 

       Hundreds of millions of dollars in the local economy are at stake from nature activities

        such as fishing, wildlife watching, ecotourism and boating are at stake.


       There is evidence that clean water would help your family economically Clean

       waterways are also linked to increased property values. A U.S. Environmental

       Protection Agency study indicated that clean water can increase by up to 25 percent

       the value of single-family homes that are located as much as 4,000 feet from the



       If you do not think you should have to use your time or money to save the bay, who do

       you think should?


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The Watersavers                                                                                               Musselman HS


We can use less NPK. Runoff is a big problem for the Bay. Also we can stop people frpm

littering. People are also able to start "Rainscaping".

Rainscaping is helping keep rain water on site in the Bay, By using this it allows us to clean

the water while not wasting it. The government pays for this sort of thing. And yes, it does

benefit us homeowners. We wont have to pay as much money for clean water.

We, at Musselman High School are doing the WET Club wetland restoration. This project is

 almost exactly like rainscaping.

People have already made a Chesapeak Bay Homeowner Act. This was passed in 2010. The

people in charge of this great Act is known as the EPA.

By using polluntants on our lawn's and other surface's means that when we have a rainfall

all of those chemicals and bacteria flow right into the Bay. Then our water is polluted.

Therefore all of the living organisms surrounding the Bay are impacted.

So let's try and keep our beautiful Bay clean!



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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Please explain rainscaping in more detail and how it reduces pollution flowing into the

       bay.   If a home owner wanted to have a rainscape built and wanted the government to

        pay for it, how exactly would he or she go about doing that.


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MHS Homes                                                                                                       Musselman HS


Imagine a community that is active in helping the environment where they live. With the POV:

support of the schools, government, homeowners, farmers, and industrial owners we can

work toward that community. Homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay area can have a great

impact on the bay. As homeowners we can reduce the amount of fertilizer or substitute

with compost, by recycling plastics and aluminum we can extend the life of our landfills,

and by driving ecofriendly cars we can reduce the amount of fumes released into the air. 

Schools and churches can organize road clean up days to keep trash out of rivers and

streams.  We can have local meetings and design plans on other ways to help our

environment. Obviously this will take money which means people would have to be willing to

donate and take time to raise funds. We can do fundraisers such as back sales, garage

sales, and bingo games as a way to raise money.  We can help farmers by planting buffers

along the streams in their fields. We can reroute the industry runoff. This is a serious

situation and if we all pull together we can get this problem solved.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Why is extending the life of landfills and reducing air pollution important to the

       Chesapeake Bay?


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Sydney's House                                                                                                 Musselman HS


I am a homeowner and I am greatly concerned about our wildlife being affected by the POV:

bay.   The runoff is ruining the water, which means plants can't grow, therefore animals

can no longer survive.  I believe we all need to do what we can to help for the animals'

sake.  We all contribute to the issue.  It's not fair to just sit back and let the animals

suffer when they are innocent.



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    From:   Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS                                                         Ask


       You said that plants wouldn't grow due to runoff. Do you mean plants in the river or

       plants that are in the woods? 

       If you mean the river, then I'm sure that the wildlife can still live off of other plants

       in the woods.

       And if you mean plants in the woods in particular, then runoff will definitely not effect

        them that bad.


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alllison and kelseys house-                                                                               Musselman HS


  As a home owner I believe that itt's important for everyone to help with the excess POV:

sediments and nutrients in the Potomac Bay. Some ways to reduce the sediments and

nutrients are reducing the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sediments that is placed

into the Bay. To get the bay clean we are going to need many people. It is very important

that everyone helps with this problem at the Potomac Bay. It is very important that

everyone helps with this problem at the Potomac Bay. It is also going to be very expensive

to fix this problem.

  There are a number of ways to save water through wise practices. They include after we

work out the  "getting society behind it" part, there is still the "paying for it" part to figure

controlling runoff from your yard, replacing lawn areas with alternative landscapes,

proving mulch cover for bare spots in your yard, and recycling water to your garden and


  You can do many things to reduce and control water running off your yard. When

rainstorms hit, huge amount of water falls fast to the yard surface, where it accumulates

quickly and runs to lower ground. This runoff has the potential to carry nutrients

(especially Nitrogen and Phosphorus) from lawn fertilizers and toxic substances from

pesticides, which can cause problems for receiving streams and the bay. Runoff can be

reduced by planting a mulched shrub bed or border at the low end of your yard to slow

velocity, altering the grade of your lawn can redirect fast moving runoff so it slows down

and possibly supplies water for other plants. Trapping runoff can result in the creation of a

 miniature wetland in a small, inconspicuous part of your yard, enabling you to add wetland

soil plant varieties to your landscapes water requirements. Lawns require a huge amount of


  Recycling water may not be a conservation solution that all Bay residents can pursue but,

where appropriate, it makes a significant difference in the amount of fresh tap water

necessary to keep lawns and landscapes plants alive and well. Gray water is water that has

been used once but has not been contaminated to the point where it cannot be used again.

Gray water, such as recycled sink dishwashing water or washing machine water (of

filtered), can be piped through a 5/8 inch garden hose directly to where it is needed or fed

 into a reservoir for later used, perhaps after cooling. Study how you currently use water

and then establish immediate and long term steps to conserve. You will be rewarded with

less maintenance in the end.




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    From:   MODERATOR - other - PHWS                                                                 Ask


       Several good ideas and bmps are mentioned in this POV.  You mentioned that after you

       get society behind it, there is still the “paying for it” part.  This is a very good point. 

       How do you propose that the wetland, shrub beds, and other BMPs mentioned should

       be paid for?


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homeowner love :)                                                                                             Musselman HS


We the group of homeowners thinks that drugs are bad. Do you want your water to POV:

eventually be nothing but toxic and get you high. Well this adds isn't for stoners. We don't

want our water polluted. We need to get everyone to stop polluting the water. Put your

drugs in a bag and take them back to the pharmacist. If you don't feel like taking them

back to their take them into your doctor next time you go. It's bad to put them down the

drain because they are hurting our fish and causing them to change sexes. If its doing that

to our fish what do you think it will eventually do to our body. Michael Jackson had a skin

pigment that caused him to change colors. Who says that it wasn't because of the water he

 was drinking. You don't know what kind of drugs are in your water and it's not good to go

around drinking tons of water that can be infected. Hello aren't you guys seen the zombie

movies. well we need do something about it we need to get rid of our drugs in a good way

that won't affect people, because even our dogs get into the trash and what if they got

your pills?? Do you want your dog to die?? Well if not then do as i say. Give your drugs

back to your doctor or pharmacist and keep this world a healthy place. i will take your

drugs and give them to my doctor if you don't have a way to get to the doctors, because i

love this world and don't want it to die.




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    From:   Shaky Shrimp - Waterman - EHHS                                                         Ask


       This makes no sense AT ALL and doesn't relate to the topic you are supposed to be

       writing about.


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