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In two thirds of the District, water that runs off properties carries fertilizer and other pollutants directly into our rivers and streams with little or no treatment. Fertilizer runoff can
- Degrade fish and wildlife habitat
- Harm insects that pollinate flowers to make fruit and vegetables
- Make waterways smell bad
- Cause toxic algal blooms
- Reduce oxygen content in local waterways
Applying synthetic fertilizer to your lawn releases nitrous oxide (N2O), a powerful greenhouse gas that plays a significant role in climate change. One pound of N2O is 300 times more effective at warming the climate than one pound of carbon dioxide (CO2) and can remain in the atmosphere for more than 100 years (US EPA).