Starting at Home
Stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, roadways, lawns and parking areas washes pollution into our streams, rivers and lakes. We can design our yards and our communities to lower the impact of stormwater runoff. In doing so we can help prevent flooding and keep our water clean.
The number one way in which you can start having an impact is to encourage water to infiltrate into the soil. By encouraging "infiltration", water will soak in to the soils and not run off down our roads and sewers.
Stormwater Management Best Practices
Planting native species which have deep root structures and creating water detention areas are key to success.
Protecting Lake Superior
Plants for Riparian (Wild) Zones and Rain Gardens
- Rain Garden & Riparian Plants for the Lakehead Region & Northern Minnesota - modified after Minnnesota D.N.R.
- Canadian Native Plant Suppliers - Canadian Wildlife Fund Listing
Native Plant Databases
- Canadian Wildlife Fund
- Evergreen Foundation
- Ontario Grasses
- Minnesota Wildflowers
- Native & Non-Native Plants
Shoreline Buffers - Designing to Protect
- Creating Excellent Shoreline Buffers
- Lakescaping Guide
- Keep It Natural
- Restore Your Shore
- Types of Plants to Protect the Shoreline
- Rethink Dredging
- The Water's Edge - Helping Fish & Wildlife
- Love Your Lake
From an environmental protection viewpoint building retaining walls is the most destructive method of shoreline stabilization. The vegetated area or Riparian Zone that would provide shelter for animals and birds to feed, shelter and breed are built over, quickly destroying the ecosystem and wildlife habitat and causing erosion on your neighbouring properties.
Build a Better Dock
Docks which are constructed over water affect the shoreline in many ways. The materials used may leach toxic chemicals into the water, by shading the shallow waters underneath. If the dock is constructed with cribs or concrete the fish habitat and shoreline transport of sediments and sand will be disrupted.
Lake Superior Stewardship Guide
The goal of the Lake Superior Stewardship Guide is to assist in the protection of the natural environment, including groundwater and surface water such as streams, rivers, creeks, wetlands which feed into Lake Superior. By protecting natural resources, not only is the natural and cultural heritage of our region being conserved, but the legacy of Ontario's clean water will also be protected for future generations. By protecting water quality, property owners and residents are protecting their investments. Residents will realize that being a water quality steward and working with the environment will result in savings of time, money and frustration.
- A Stewardship Guide to the Lake Superior Shoreline
Self-assessment guide assessing homeowners environmental performance as a property owner (based on the Lake Huron guide). Allows residents to evaluate their property and assess their impact on the shoreline. Focuses on the Lake Superior shoreline however is applicable to all shorelines, including streams and rivers.
The full Lake Superior Stewardship Guide is a comprehensive guide to protecting the lake and developing properties along the lake. The full guide has comprehensive checklists to help you develop your property wisely.
Conserving Our Water Resources
- Canadians are the highest per capita consumers of water in the world
- We waste a large percentage of the water we use
- Conserving water can save you money
Water conservation works to save money on water and heating bills, reduce the needs for costly expansion of water supply systems and sewage treatment plants and reduces sewage going into treatment plants, allowing them to operate more efficiently.
Water Saving Tips:
- Install flow-restricting devices and fix leaky faucets and toilets
- Shut off the tap between uses when brushing your teeth, shaving and doing the dishes
- Use a rain barrel for watering plants and gardens instead of turning on your outdoor tap
- use cold water whenever possible
- run only full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine
- put your lawn on a water diet
- sweep the driveway instead of hosing it off