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Chesapeake Bay News

Dec
01
2008

New Online Calculator Assesses Your Nitrogen Footprint

Ever wonder how much pollution you contribute to the Bay and its rivers? The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has launched a new online tool to help you find out.

The Bay Foundation’s Nitrogen Calculator uses information about your home to assess how much algae-producing nitrogen your family sends each year to the Bay or your local river. As you enter details about your sewer system, electricity use, and travel and lawn care habits, the calculator comes up with a yearly “nitrogen footprint” for you and your family.

“We hope this new tool will encourage people to think about the choices they make and take actions that will reduce nitrogen pollution across the watershed,” said CBF Senior Scientist Dr. Beth McGee.

One way Maryland residents that use septic systems can help reduce pollution to the Bay is to upgrade their system to one that removes more nitrogen. The Maryland Department of the Environment is currently offering free upgrades to nitrogen-removing systems.

Here’s some other ways you can help reduce nitrogen pollution to the Bay:

  • Don’t fertilize your lawn.
  • Plant trees and shrubs, which absorb airborne nitrogen and slow polluted runoff from your yard.
  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Reduce the amount of miles you drive.
  • Install a rain garden or rain barrels to capture runoff from your downspout

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