What Can You Do?

Learn about the simple things you can do to prevent pollution in the Barnegat Bay watershed

1. Start in your own yard.

Visit our Jersey-Friendly Yards website for all the information you need to make your yard low-maintenance, environmentally friendly, and healthier for you and your family. A Jersey-Friendly yard will help absorb stormwater, replenish ground water resources, keep harmful amounts of fertilizers and other pollutants from getting into the bay, and provide much-needed food and shelter for New Jersey wildlife.

jersey friendly yard image and link

2.  Don’t treat your soil like dirt!

Healthy soil is the key to a healthy watershed and a beautiful landscape — it absorbs rain water more quickly and helps to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.  Getting your soil tested is the first step to sound landscaping and lawn care. Test results will provide pH levels and make recommendations for improving your soil.  Mixing compost into the soil in your garden is a great way to improve your soil’s health.

3. Eliminate or reduce your use of lawn and garden fertilizers.

  • Recycle grass clippings on the lawn, mow to 3-inches minimum, and top-dress the lawn with compost (less than an inch) annually — this can eliminate the need for store-bought fertilizer.
  • Use a drop spreader for accurate fertilizer placement (if you get any on impervious surfaces, such as driveways or sidewalks, sweep it back on to the lawn right away).
  • Do not apply fertilizer during hot weather or before a heavy rain.
  • If you buy fertilizer: look for a low-nitrogen fertilizer that is slow-release (water insoluble) and always follow package instructions.
  • Be sure to follow the requirements of the New Jersey Fertilizer law.

4. Never throw litter in the street or down storm drains.

It will end up in the bay swimming next to you!

5. Never empty your boat’s holding tank into the bay.

Use a pumpout boat service or a marine pumpout facility for your marine waste.

6. Always pick up pet waste.

Pick up your pet’s poop and dispose of it properly.

7. Pesticides are toxic!

Use organic alternatives whenever possible, and if you feel you must use pesticides, follow the label directions carefully, don’t over-apply, and dispose of the container and any leftovers during a household hazardous waste collection.

8. Use a car wash.

Take your car to a commercial car wash where the wash water is recycled, or wash your car on the lawn so the wash water and detergent does not run into the street and down the storm drain.

9. Safely dispose of all hazardous wastes.

Call 1-800-557-3292 or call the Ocean County Recycling Department at 732-929-2054 for information.

10. Don’t leave the line behind!

Anglers, don’t leave fishing line behind!  Fishing line can entangle and kill marine life and takes hundreds and hundreds of years to break down in our oceans.

11. Conserve water.

Try to take shorter showers and don’t the water water run while brushing teeth or washing your hands or face. If you have a sprinkler system, don’t run it during the daylight hours.  Better yet, harvest rain water for irrigation by purchasing or building your own rain barrel.

12.  Become a Barnegat Bay Buddy!

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