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DC Program Pays Residents to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

DCRiverSmartA big green thumbs up to Washington DC.  It is stepping up to the plate and taking action to reduce pollution into the Chesapeake Bay to comply with EPA limits for the nation’s largest estuary.

DC has launched a program called RiverSmart Homes. In it, homeowners can receive up to $1,200 from the city for projects to cut stormwater runoff from their properties into the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. The projects that can be funded include the planting of water-absorbing rain gardens and trees; the installation of rain barrels; and the replacement of pavement with alternative construction materials that absorb water like a sponge. Residents are also encouraged to replace lawns (which require watering and fertilizers) with native Chesapeake Bay region plants (as shown in the photo above).

“RiverSmart Homes provides incentives to beautify your property and benefit the District’s environment by … stabilizing soils, helping to prevent erosion, providing increased habitat for native wildlife…treating and infiltrating stormwater on site helping to recharge groundwater levels…(and) diminishing the impact on aquatic life from polluted stormwater,” the program’s web site explains.

Residents who are interested can fill out an online application, and then receive a visit and stormwater control audit from the District Department of the Environment.

To learn more, click here.

By Tom Pelton

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

(Photo above from DC River Smart program)

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