What is Stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is the most significant source of water pollution in Oregon, and has a dramatic impact on the watersheds in the NCUWC surface area. When it rains, water from streets, parking lots, and roofs washes pollutants into storm drains and drainage ditches, carrying silt, oil, chemicals, trash and pesticides to the nearest creek, stream or wetland. Many of the roads and parking lots in Clackamas County were built before requirements were put in place to manage this stormwater before it enters our creeks. The polluted runoff can harm fish, aquatic life, and threatens our drinking water. Not only that, with increased flows from stormwater, many folks who live along our creeks have issues with flooding every year. When there is a lot of rain and high flows the creeks jump their banks flooding homes and roads and threatening public safety.
How to Protect our Creeks:
There are many ways for individuals, business, and governments to protect our waterways from toxic stormwater. Individuals can reduce pesticide use, create rain gardens in their yards, and attend public meetings and advocate for better stormwater infrastructure. Businesses can work with local organizations to reduce the amount of pavement on their properties and implement best practices for stormwater management during construction and renovations. Governments can implement strong land use codes to protect creeks and ensure that green infrastructure is prioritized and maintained.
There are many examples of green infrastructure in our community. Visit our virtual tour here to learn more!