Be Bay Friendly

HomeownerGuideIn the Chesapeake Bay watershed, one of the greatest threats to the health of the Bay comes from increased development of the land. Increased development and transformation of the landscape leads to less rainwater soaking into the ground where it is naturally filtered before returning to our streams and rivers. Instead, more water “runs off” our properties and travels along our impervious corridors of driveways and streets picking up pollutants along the way which are then delivered to our streams and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

So what can YOU do?

Every parcel of land in the watershed impacts the quality of the Bay including your individual property. You can decrease the impact that your property has on the Bay by reducing the amount of pollutants and stormwater generated from your lot.

The Homeowner Guide For a More Bay-Friendly Property presents a step by step approach for analyzing your property to find out whether it makes sense to install a rain garden or other residential stewardship practices. We then take you through the design and installation of several of the homeowner practices, so that you can install them on your own. Many Bay communities offer technical and financial assistance to help you install stewardship practices on your lot. Check out Appendix D for a list of links to these programs.

Based on feedback from reviewers we have decided to make this an “open-source” document where communities can edit, format, or delete sections to reflect their local needs and requirements. Please feel free to borrow the photos, schematics and tables for your training purposes, although please provide photo credit when indicated. There is a pdf version available for download below. For the adaptable word version, please email Cecilia Lane at watershedgal@hotmail.com.

Homeowner Guide For a More Bay-Friendly Property

This guide presents a step by step approach for analyzing your property to find out whether it makes sense to install a rain garden or other residential stewardship practices. We then take you through the design and installation of several of the homeowner practices, so that you can install them on your own. Many Bay communities offer technical and financial assistance to help you install stewardship practices on your lot. Check out Appendix D for a list of links to these programs.

Version 10/8/14 | Size (4 MB) | File type (.pdf) | Download

Also for more information on accounting for for residential BMPs or small, on-lot practices in the Chesapeake Bay head on over to our Crediting Residential BMPs section of our website.

Assessing Your Property

A good first step to helping the Chesapeake Bay is to walk around your lot and assess the site conditions. This simple and fast assessment of your site will help you determine which stewardship practices are best for your property.
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Rain Gardens

Rain gardens treat stormwater runoff generated by your property by acting like a native landscape and filtering runoff and pollutants through the soils and plants.
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Conservation Landscaping

Most yards have beds that contain plantings of perennial herbaceous plants, shrubs and small trees to provide landscape interest. With a little shovel work, you can transform them into conservation landscapes that retain rainfall and adsorb runoff generated from adjacent turf or hard surfaces.
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Tree Planting

Planting native trees and shrubs to restore a portion of your property to forested conditions is good for your property values, good for native wildlife, good for your local watershed and good for the Bay.
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Rainwater Harvesting

A rain barrel/cistern is a water holding device which is placed at the base of a roof downspout with the purpose of collecting rainwater for a specific use.
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Permeable Hardscapes

Permeable Hardscapes are alternative paving surfaces that capture and temporarily store stormwater by filtering runoff through holes in the pavement surface into an underlying stone reservoir.
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Bay-Friendly Lawn Care

Lawns make up a significant portion of individual properties and have been shown to produce more runoff than their forested counterparts. A recent research report by the Chesapeake Bay Program recommends ten practices that can make your lawn more Bay-friendly.
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Directory of Residential BMP Assistance Programs

Table below is from Appendix D of the Homeowner Guide For a More Bay-Friendly Property. The following is a list of programs in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that provide technical (T), financial (F) or other (O) types of assistance to homeowners installing stewardship practices on their residential property. Since several of the programs provide assistance on...Learn more...