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Pesticides and Fertilizers

Stormwater runoff and the case for limiting or eliminating the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers

no fishingWhen beaches or shellfishing areas are closed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, it is usually following a heavy rainstorm.

That is mainly because stormwater from rain or melting snow turns into runoff that doesn't soak into the ground but runs off into waterways. Instead, it flows from rooftops, over paved areas and bare soil, and through sloped lawns while picking up a variety of materials on its way, according to the DEC.

Nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen can promote the overgrowth of algae, deplete oxygen in the waterway and be harmful to other aquatic life. Toxic chemicals from automobiles, sediment from construction activities and careless application of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers threaten the health of the receiving waterway and can kill fish and other aquatic life. Bacteria from animal wastes and illicit connections to sewerage systems can make nearby lakes and bays unsafe for wading, swimming and the propagation of edible shellfish.
More ways we can all help keep our waterways clean, such as leaving waste in an approved pumpout station or waste receptacle facility, can be found on the DEC's web site.