S. Severo

How To Keep Lake Erie Clean All Summer Long

July 2, 2018

Living in Northeast Ohio, we're lucky to be so close to beautiful ponds, rivers, parks and, most importantly, Lake Erie. However, sometimes we are at fault for making our lake unsafe, whether it be for fishing, swimming or even supporting the animals. 

The good news, however, is that no matter how close you are to Lake Erie and its shores, you can still make a difference in its quality 

  • Use less water. Each time you flush the toilet or leave your faucet running while you’re brushing your teeth and washing your hands, you're not only wasting water but you're making your sewer system work very hard. Like us, sewer systems can get tired and eventually not work properly. Be mindful when you're in the kitchen or restroom! 
  • Keep your car in check. You know those oil spots you see sometimes in your driveway or in parking lots? Yea, they're more than just gross stains; they're bad for our lakes. When it rains, or when you rinse off your driveway, that oil makes its way to the storm drains and then into watersheds, increasing the risk it'll be taken into our lake. 
  • When it comes to gardening, stay organic. You think your car's oil is the only thing that gets in the sewers? Nope! Think about all the fertilizers and pesticides you use on your yard and garden. Want to hear something gross? All of that junk causes nearby rivers and lakes to get a lot of nitrogen, which, over time, leads to some pretty bad consequences. For those non-science people, that means algae, dead fish and nasty smells. Stick to natural fertilizers and bug killers and, even then, stick to the directions. Try not to use too much and don't do it right before a rainfall.
  • Toss your yard waste correctly. Sending weekly loads grass clippings down the drain is almost as bad as too much fertilizer. The simpliest thing you can do is to compost yard waste and make sure it’s in bins so it doesn’t wash away during a heavy rain.
  • Deal with chemicals and medicines the right way. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Don't flush unused pills down the toilet, don't spill motor oil or paint down your sink. Seriously, that stuff can not only end up in our lakes, but also in our drinking water. ICK. Plenty of places around your neighborhood offer pick-ups or drop-off locations to make sure your stuff is getting disposed of properly.
  • Duh, don't litter. Not in your yard, not from your car, not at work. Just don't do it. Find a garbage can. Carry a wrapper in your pocket for hours if you have to. You know how windy it gets here; all of your small items of trash will eventually make their way to the lake, killing animals and getting on our shorelines.