Map: Pavement and Other Hardened Surfaces in Bay Watershed

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This aerial image (below)shows the locations of roads, roofs, parking lots, and other developed surfaces in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that rain cannot penetrate.

Researchers have concluded that when two to 10 percent of a stream or river's drainage area is covered in hardened surfaces, fish and amphibians begin to disappear.

There are local streams in the Bay region whose aquatic life is at risk because their watersheds are at least four to nine percent covered. See three examples.

How You Can Help

  • Detach your downspouts to prevent them from flowing into municipal storm drain systems. Install rain barrels to collect the flow instead. 
  • Create "pervious" walkways and driveways (of crushed stone, mulch, or other materials) that return rainwater to the ground. 
  • Reconfigure your yard to create rain gardens in low-lying areas, and replace grass turf with native plants.

For more ideas, see "12 Things You Can Do to Clean Up Your Rivers, Streams, and the Chesapeake Bay."

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