Homeowners in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia are being encouraged to plant more plants this spring to help Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.
The effort announced Tuesday by the Chesapeake Bay Program aims to increase planting as a way to decrease stormwater runoff and erosion, both of which harm bay water quality.
Urban and suburban runoff is a growing pollution source in the bay watershed and organizers say many homeowners don't realize the connection between their yards and lawns and the bay. Excess fertilizers placed on lawns that aren't used by plants, for example, feed oxygen-robbing algae blooms once they reach the Chesapeake.
Planting native trees, shrubs and perennials can help filter stormwater and prevent runoff of pollutants.