Make a Difference at Home
Actions ripple through a watershed
Did you know your actions and choices can be felt far away when combined with others in your watershed?
We all live in a watershed – In Tippecanoe County, we all live in the Wabash River watershed. Actually, we all live in many differently sized and scaled watersheds. A watershed is all the land that drains to a specific common point or water body. The area of land that drains into the Wabash River includes the majority of Indiana, about half of Illinois, and a small part of Ohio. You may also live in the watershed that drains to your local storm drain or to Wildcat Creek or Burnett Creek. These smaller streams and drainage ditches drain eventually drain into the Wabash. The Wabash flows to the Ohio River, the Ohio emties into the Mississippi River, which then dumps into the Gulf of Mexico. Pollution such as sediment and fertilizer entering our local drains and waterways impacts the health of the Wabash which in turn impacts the ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico.
Every drop of water falling on your property can impact the Wabash River
Runoff occurs whenever precipitation falls on your property. When this water hits hard surfaces, like your roof or driveway, city streets or parking lots, these hard surfaces prevent water from soaking into the ground. Rather, water travels across the surface picking up materials like sediment, trash and debris, pesticides, and nutrients. As it moves toward the Wabash River, this water continues to gather pollutants. Every step you take to reduce the amount of water moving across hard surfaces and encourage water to enter into the ground water system helps the Wabash River.
The average residence in Greater Lafayette contributes 975,000 gallons of runoff to the Wabash River annually. This equals 1.5 Olympic size swimming pools!
By installing rain gardens, rain barrels, trees, native plants, and other stormwater infrastructure, you are part of a community focused on taking many small steps to make big, positive impacts on the Wabash River.
Below is a list of resources for various projects you can do at your home, business, church, school, or other property to reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality in the Wabash River. Purdue Extension is also a great resource for rain-scaping information.
Rain Garden Depth
Go Green at Home
Rain barrels harvest rain water from your roof and downspouts.