Managing Development for Water Quality
Urbanization is hard on water quality. Many pollutants are elevated near suburban areas, including bacteria and toxic contaminants. On the islands, conversion of homes from seasonal to year-round, and new construction, can affect coastal habitat and water quality. Remaining “overboard discharges” and underperforming septic systems prevent shellfish harvesting and put swimmers at risk. Local ordinances that protect wetlands and shorelines, encourage green infrastructure, reduce use of pesticides and fertilizer, and properly manage human waste can help the Bay.