Protect water quality. Put in a rain garden.


Stormwater runoff is one of the major causes of water pollution. Cities such as Burnsville, Minnesota, are encouraging residents to plant rain gardens in order to divert rainwater from streets.

A rain garden, a plot of low-maintenance, native perennial flowers and shrubs planted in a shallow basin, traps rainwater, allowing it to seep into soil rather than running off your driveway and rooftop toward storm drains. Why choose native plants for your rain garden? They have evolved to live in your region, so they have better defenses against predators and require water commensurate with annual rainfall. They also help foster healthy soil and insect life, which attracts birds and enhances overall biodiversity.

Check out NRDC's Coastal Dwellers Guide for more things you can do at home to keep waterways clean.