River Cleanup Day is a day to bring awareness about where our water comes from, what we do with our water resources, what causes harm to our water resources, and what we can do to prevent further issues. It is also a day about educating ourselves and others and coming together as a community to build healthy, sustainable ways to maintain our Earth and more specifically our rivers.
In the U.S. about three-fourths of the fresh water withdrawn each year comes from rivers, lakes, and reservoirs; one-fourth comes from groundwater aquifers. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that the United States uses an estimation of about 322 billion gallons of water per day.
Water Use in the U.S.
8% domestic use
Over 600 gallons per day per person in the U.S. is being diverted for farm irrigation and livestock use from natural aquatic sources.
More than half the people in the U.S. get their water from groundwater.
According to the World Health Organization, over 2 billion people drink from contaminated water. Here are examples of how much water is affected due to different types of pollution: A gallon of paint or a quart of motor oil can seep into the earth and pollute 250,000 gallons of drinking water. A spilled gallon of gasoline can pollute 750,000 gallons of water.
Educate yourself about how and why water gets polluted
Cutdown on your plastic use
Hold companies accountable
Be aware of usage of chemicals in lawn and garden care
Recognize the harm personal litter causes
Watch what you flush
Watch what you eat
Properly dispose of hazardous household items
Service your septic system
Landscape with native plants
Eliminate bare spots in your yard - the outcome of having any type of bare spot is the same: stormwater hits the ground and is not able to soak into the soil
Make a rain garden and/or install rain barrels
If you live on the water, build a living shoreline
Resurface with permeable pavers - Time to replace that crumbling driveway? Consider using permeable pavers that allow runoff to soak into the ground and be filtered naturally rather than runoff into the nearest storm drain.
Remove animal poop
Participate in a local training or certification program - learn how to engage communities about identifying and solving environmental problems