BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A couple of steps can go a long way when it comes to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

Now, people can track their progress online- and even start a friendly competition with friends and neighbors thanks to a new campaign.

The point of the campaign is to remind citizens that what happens on land also has consequences for the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

That includes stormwater runoff which is the fastest growing source of pollution across the Chesapeake Bay.

“Rain has washed all that litter that is on the street directly into the water so that trash comes from the street and then goes into the water,” Angela Haren, of the Baltimore Harbor Waterkeepers, said.

Haren teamed up with Chesapeake Bay Waterkeepers to develop an idea that anyone can do from their home to help the Chesapeake Bay.

“A lot of time we talk to people about water pollution and they feel pretty powerless that just one action that they take can’t make a difference,” Haren said. “This is a great online platform that shows you that your actions do make a difference.”

Anyone interested in the program can visit mybaltimore.clearchoicescleanwater.org and select one of four activities; not to fertilize, tree stewardship, volunteering or picking up pet waste.

“This is a really powerful tool that people can use to understand that their actions have consequences,” Haren said.

The site will calculate how many pounds of pollutants you can save by taking the pledge. It’s targeting the trash laying on the surface of the water and also the chemicals and tiny particles that slip through the cracks.

“There are also things that we can’t see,” Haren said. “All of those fertilizers, pet waste, all the things we’re trying to target on this clear water choices campaign also come through the storm drains as well.”

Rachel Menitoff

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