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Living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: did you brush your teeth this morning?

Picture taken by Jef Nickerson of water main break. Found on https://www.flickr.com/photos/woneffe/4267260336/
Picture taken by Jef Nickerson of water main break. Found on https://www.flickr.com/photos/woneffe/4267260336/Picture taken by Jef Nickerson

Did you brush your teeth this morning? How about take a shower? Did you enjoy your morning cup of coffee?

How much of your morning routine involves water? So many of us take advantage of the fact that we have access to cheap, clean water within our own home. According to Water.org, there are currently 345 million people without water, 3.4 million people who die each year from a water related disease, and 780 million people who lack access to clean water. These statistics are nerve-racking when you stop to think about how many of us let the faucet run while we brush our teeth, take long hot showers in the morning because we can, and swim in our luxurious pool, where the average takes about 19,000 gallons of water to fill. Think about it. Imagine one day without access to clean water and then think about all the pollution we pour into our local waterways.

It is not point pollution, pollution from an identifiable source, such as a factory, that is the main problem, but instead nonpoint pollution. This is pollution that comes from our streets, lawns, parking lots, buildings, etc., in which we are responsible.

If you want to make a difference by becoming a leader in your watershed become a Master Watershed Steward. It is a great program where you learn many useful tools and work with various types of people who appreciate the Chesapeake Bay watershed. You will learn how to mitigate pollution, slow down erosion, plant a rain garden, as well as many other things. The Watershed Stewards Academy is currently holding informational sessions where you can find their list of dates and times on their website (www.aawsa.org).

So many of us take advantage of the Chesapeake Bay and all that it provides. As we continue to pollute and disrespect what we should instead treasure, there is only a matter of time before we begin to live with tremendous regret.