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What can the average homeowner do to alleviate some of the flooding and sediment load in their own yards?

Simple solutions that nearly everyone can implement on their property include: 

Managing bear ground with mulch, turf, or other plant cover.  Keeping areas at risk, like newly dug gardens or turf free areas around your foundation, covered with durable plant material and mulch will keep unwanted sediment from entering the storm sewer system and ultimately Lake Erie. 

Install rain gardens to collect run-off, allow water to infiltrate into the ground, and prevent overloads to the storm sewer systems. 

Implement new ways to use the water efficiently that your roof collects (cisterns, rain barrels, etc.). Instead of relying on irrigation systems or sprinklers, plant trees and perennials that by their nature need less water.  The less run-off from our yards, the better!  

Cheryl Rice , USDA – NRCS