We Found Pesticides in Stormwater
Since 2001, Friends of Casco Bay has been sampling stormwater around the Bay, and we’ve detected the presence of pesticides, bacteria, and nutrients — pollutants that can damage water quality in Casco Bay.
Be a Good Neighbor
We have been bombarded with advertising messages that good neighbors maintain a weed-free, bug-free, “perfect” lawn. The sale of lawn care pesticides for residential use in Maine increased by 700% since 1995, meaning your neighbors now apply more pesticides than all of Maine’s farmers and foresters combined! In a statewide survey, though, 61% of Mainers said they do not apply fertilizers to their lawns.
Which neighbor are you? Learn to be a good neighbor by:
- Downloading our BayScaping documents:
- Hosting a neighborhood social
- Bring BayScaping to your community by hosting a neighborhood social. We will recommend small changes to your lawn care practices that will save you time and money, as you save the environment. You can have a green lawn and a blue Bay! Contact Mary Cerullo at 799-8574 or keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org.
Pesticides are poisonous, linked to health risks in children, pets, birds, butterflies, and marine life.
Testing by FOCB confirms that pesticides and the nutrients in fertilizers are entering our coastal waters, turning coves into expanses of green slime and using up oxygen needed by marine life.
Overfertilizing your lawn is like putting grass on steroids. Routine, scheduled chemical treatments stress the lawn by forcing growth
The solution is Bayscaping
Join your neighbors–or convert your neighbors–to build a robust lawn and protect the health of your community–naturally:
- Water deeply, only once or twice a week, to penetrate the soil.
- Mow high. Cutting grass at 3 1/2-4 inches encourages longer, stronger roots.
- Leave clippings, nature’s fertilizers.
- Take a soil test to see what nutrients, if any, your lawn needs.
- Fertilize frugally. If you must fertilize, wait until the end of summer. Lawns older than ten years generally don’t need lawn chemicals.
- Overseed with fescue grasses to crowd out weeds.
BayScaping: Because the Bay Begins at Your Front Door
BayScaping is a “grassroots” outreach program designed to encourage homeowners, businesses, and municipalities to reduce their use of pesticides and fertilizers. Developed in partnership with the Maine Board of Pesticides Control, BayScaping recognizes that our lawn care practices can affect the health of Casco Bay. It has grown into a statewide effort now called YardScaping. To learn more, go to yardscaping.org.
Beyond Pesticides: Tools for Change
The National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides provides examples of policies, programs, and pesticide free parks across the country, like this beautiful example in Camden, Maine! More and more communities in Maine are passing ordinances to limit or ban the use of pesticides on public parks and playing fields. The Town of Ogunquit recently passed an ordinance limiting pesticides on private properties. If you are interested in exploring how to limit the use of pesticides and fertilizers in your town, contact Mary Cerullo@ mcerullo [at] cascobay [dot] org.
Help Fund our BayScaping Program
Your donation will help our staff and volunteers connect with homeowners and businesses to teach them how to grow green lawns that keep Casco Bay blue. Donate here and write “BayScaping” in the designation box. Thank you!