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Learn & Participate

  • Remember Clean Streets Lead to Clean Water
    We all live on a shoreline! Storm drains in the street lead right to streams and lakes in our communities. Adopt the storm drain nearest you to make sure there’s “only rain down the drain.”
    • Sweep up leaves, grass clippings, and fertilizers from the street and driveway – once in the water these supply nutrients that feed algae
    • Clean up pet waste
    • Use deicers wisely - see more details below
    • Wash cars on the lawn or at a carwash rather than in the driveway
    • Maintain your car to stop leaking oil, gas, and other toxins
  • Plant for clean water, diversity, and pollinators
    • Install a rain garden to help soak up rainwater from your rooftop and driveway or restore your shoreline to prevent erosion and provide habitat. There are workshops that teach you how to plan and install the garden and the District can even provide cost share funds for your project!
    • Create a buffer of native plants along streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands to prevent stormwater and its pollutants from running over land to the waterbody.
    • Mow less by planting native perennials around the edges of your yard. Plant a variety of native and pollinator-friendly plants to attract bees and butterflies, increase diversity, and use less irrigating and pesticides.
    • Learn more about Planting for Clean Water© through Blue Thumb at www.bluethumb.org
  • Use Deicers Wisely
    • Shovel that snow. The more snow that you can shovel or snow blow, the less salt you will need. Get out early and keep up with the storm.
    • Don’t over apply. More salt does not mean more melting. Use less than four pounds of salt per 1,000 feet². One pound of salt is about a heaping twelve-ounce coffee cup.
    • Temperature matters. Common deicers don’t melt snow and ice well when is gets very cold, so should not be applied. Instead, use a small amount of sand for traction.
    • Sweep up extra. Salt and sand on dry pavement is not doing any work and will be washed into the creek or lake. Sweep up the extra and reuse it.
  • Reduce stormwater run-off
    • Make sure gutter downspouts and sprinklers drain into grass or gardens to reduce runoff and to increase absorption of rainwater.
    • Spread mulch or plant vegetation on bare ground to help prevent erosion and runoff.
    • Use a rain barrel to capture water from downspouts and put it to use in your gardens.
    • Aerate your lawn or plant rain gardens in low areas will allow infiltration of stormwater and reduce the volume of run-off reaching our lakes and streams.
  • Spread the word among neighbors or homeowners associations
  • Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
    Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are plants and animals in our lakes and streams that are not native to Minnesota and many of them can cause significant environmental and economic harm.
    • CLEAN all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland
    • DRAIN water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and draining bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.
    • DISPOSE of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
    • LEARN MORE about AIS and preventing the spread at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquatic/index...
  • Conserve Water In and Around Your Home
    • Only run the dishwasher with a full load and don't pre-rinse your dishes
    • Fix leaky toilets
    • Install low flow shower heads and faucets with aerators
    • Make sure pipes are properly insulated
    • Plant native species that don't require irrigation
    • Learn more at www.homeadvisor.com/r/home-water-conservation
  • Volunteer to Collect Water Samples
    You can help the BCWMC and other agencies augment their water monitoring activities by collecting water samples and data from lakes and streams near you! Lake monitoring programs include the Metropolitan Council’s Citizen Assisted Lake Monitoring Program (CAMP). Volunteer stream and lake monitoring programs are also coordinated through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Visit the MPCA website for more information or contact the BCWMC.
  • Encourage River Watch for Students
    Encourage youth learning and participation by getting your school involved in the Hennepin County River Watch Program. Students get out of the classroom and into the field to collect data and macroinvertebrates (bugs) from streams. Not only do they evaluate the health of the stream, they learn about natural resources, our impact on water quality, and valuable scientific protocols. Visit http://www.hennepin.us/business/work-with-henn-co/... for more information or contact the BCWMC.
  • Attend a Bassett Creek Watershed Management Commission meeting
    BCWMC meetings are open to the public and include a “citizen forum” for those wishing to address the Commission with questions or concerns. See Meetings & Events page for more information.