Tag Archive: water


Want to fight the bite? Mosquito prevention starts at home

Summer is here, and we all know what that means…..outdoor fun and, unfortunately, mosquitoes. Those pesky insects that spoil evening BBQs and parties. They cover your body in bites and leave you scratching your head (and skin) on what to do to stop them. When people ask us at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection what to
Regional Stream Cleanup in Baltimore

Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week – You’re more connected than you think

When most people think about the Chesapeake Bay they might think of crabs and oysters, summer vacations or taking the kayak for a paddle in the many estuaries and streams that feed into the Bay (my favorite pastime). While I’m not one to turn away a good crab feast, the Chesapeake Bay to me means life and
Adat Shalom Conservation Landscaping

Love your landscape? Enter it into the County’s Beautification Contest!

The deadline for the annual Keep Montgomery County Clean and Green Landscape Beautification Contest has been extended to June 17! The contest recognizes community groups, businesses, public institutions and other organizations undertaking landscaping projects that enhance the appearance of commonly owned sections of commercial or residential properties in Montgomery County. Landscaping along County roadsides, medians, or other public locations
Takoma Park EV Station 1

Ride the wind: Takoma Park EV stations put clean energy into cars

Takoma Park is about to become a hotspot for electric vehicle drivers. Wind-Powered Cars Electric vehicles (EV) are on the rise. According to Plug In America, an industry coalition, higher availability and lower price points have driven more than 400,000 American motorists to switch to EVs. Proponents have long touted EVs for their ability to
Flickr CC Jordan Meeter

Low-maintenance gardens save water as well as work

If you want to minimize maintenance in your garden—and save water in the process—the fundamental tenet is simple: location, location, location. Any garden can be low-maintenance. All it takes is a little extra investment of time and planning on the front end to reap big returns over the long term. “It’s right plant, right place,”
Dental staff group photo

No charts, less water: Greener orthodontics in Montgomery County

Anyone who has ever visited a dentist or orthodontist knows how resource-intensive those businesses can be. But conservation is still possible. Just ask the experts at Scott Orthodontics. Treat it Like Your Home From water to electricity and everything in between, oral care, like health care in general, can consume plenty if care teams aren’t
Green Streets

Green streets drive runoff in the right direction

Its name may evoke something out of a children’s story, but green streets are entirely concrete. The green street is one of the innovative ways that the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is working to minimize rain and snow runoff—and the pollution it can pick up in places like roads and parking lots—and

Tips for keeping deer out of your rain garden

Any time of year is a potential problem time in Montgomery County, at least when you’re a gardener worried about deer. The risk also exists for rain gardens and conservation landscapes, as with all gardens, as many plants used in both are appealing foodstuffs for native animals like deer.

It’s autumn, take a hike….on the Caching the Rain Geotrail!

Fall is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy nature – the changing leaves, the crisp air, fall festivals, hiking along a trail, you name it, its just a great time of year. Engaging the family in fun Fall activities is fairly easy, but have you ever tried geocaching? If not, Montgomery County has
Photo of a rain garden along a street in Forest Estates.

Montgomery County wins nationwide stormwater management award

Montgomery County was one of six recipients of the new national municipal stormwater and green infrastructure awards at the 88th Annual Water Environment Federation (WEF) Technical Exhibition and Conference held September 28 in Chicago. Montgomery County won the Phase I program management category for its multifaceted and effective Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) program and
Chrismai Storm Drain Art Winner

Storm drain art contest winners: Think further down the drain

To continue to educate the community of how our actions affect our local waters, on Tuesday, April 21 (the day before  Earth Day!) the Department of Environmental Protection along with volunteers from White Oak ShopRite Supermarket painted a storm drain with art from the inaugural art contest at the White Oak Community Center in Silver

Children’s art promotes protecting local waters

Throughout the year, outreach staff at the Department of Environmental Protection participate in a variety of activities such as presentations and festivals. As part of Earth Week activities, Watershed Outreach Planner Ana Arriaza participated in an after-school program sponsored by Identity, Inc. at Montgomery Village Middle School. About 30 sixth graders participated.

Announcing the winners of the storm drain art contest

We asked for art and we received it!  In January, the Department of Environmental Protection and Rock Creek Conservancy sought artwork for a storm drain art contest. We received 18 entries from County residents with great art and messages that inspire others to protect our waters.
Image of workshop attendees assembling a rain barrel.

Sign up for a RainScape Training

The RainScapes program offers low-cost trainings to residents of Montgomery County, MD who are interested in using their property to improve water quality and provide habitat for wildlife.  RainScapes, include rain barrels, rain gardens and conservation landscaping. The Spring 2015 Training Calendar is almost over!  Only two classes remain, so sign up fast if you don’t

Warning – Thin Ice!

Winter means colder temperatures and ice forming on water bodies in our area. People of all ages are tempted to venture out onto the ice, but it is not safe. The surfaces of ponds, lakes and creeks freeze first. But more often than not, the ice is not solid through and through, making it unsafe for

Stormwater 101: Underground Inspection

DEP’s Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program is responsible for inspecting and ensuring maintenance of all public and private stormwater management facilities within Montgomery County.  DEP Planning Specialist Audra Lew guest blogs about the important role the inspectors play in the County:

2014 Year in Review: Watershed Management

The Department of Environmental Protection is mandated with protecting the local waters of the County, from tiny neighborhood creeks to the Potomac River. Our local waterways are vitally important to the environment and economy of Montgomery County as well as our public health.
Five volunteers standing next to all the trash they picked up from a stormwater facility.

Chesapeake Bay Awards Program accepting nominations

Less than 3 weeks remain to nominate someone for the 2015 Chesapeake Bay Trust awards program!  Each year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust recognizes outstanding achievements by educators, students, and individuals who work to restore the Chesapeake Bay and local waters. Currently, they are accepting applications and/or nominations for five awards outlined below including TWO $5,000

Grant opportunity for watershed restoration and outreach

A new grant program is being offered by the Montgomery County Government and the Chesapeake Bay Trust to support watershed restoration and outreach throughout Montgomery County. The goal of this program is to reduce stormwater runoff and pollutants through community-based restoration implementation as well as projects focused on public engagement through education, outreach, and stewardship.

Rain gardens beautify local church

Last year, the United Church of Christ of Seneca Valley received a $10,000 RainScapes rebate to design and construct a series of four rain gardens in a swale at the rear of the church.  Guest blogger Bill Renner, Chair of Property Operations at the Church, discusses the process and how the congregation has responded!

Rain garden art at the Kensington Library

As part of Community Service Week, DEP staff, representatives from Rock Creek Conservancy and volunteers came together to paint four inlet drainage areas surrounding a rain garden in the Rock Creek watershed. The rain garden and the drain art, located at the Kensington Park Library in Kensington, MD, are visible to library visitors.

5K for the Bay — Run for our local waters!

What could be better than a run in the park?  How about a run that benefits the waters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?? The Chesapeake Bay Trust is hosting a 5K for the Bay on October 25th in beautiful Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg.  Participants will enjoy an exceptional 3.1 mile run/walk along Clopper

Thanks for a great County Fair!

Did you know that the County Fair is the most important outreach event for the Department of Environmental Protection each year?  It is the time where DEP staff get to talk to County residents, share our latest programs and events and get the pulse on what is important to County residents.  
Image of a green roof.

Apply for up to 80% in credit towards your Water Quality Protection Charge

Do you have a stormwater management practice on your property?  A dry well, rain garden, green roof or another design practice that helps reduce stormwater pollution in the County? If you have a qualified storm water practice on your property, you are eligible for a credit towards your Water Quality Protection Charge (WQPC)! Both residential and
Green Treefrog Todd Pierson

A green treefrog takes up residency in the Paint Branch Watershed!

During a warm summer night, a Montgomery County FrogWatch volunteer, Maura McMullen, heard a strange call that she was unable to identify from the County’s frog and toads website. She sent in the recording to DEP to help her identify the species. DEP identified the frog as a green treefrog, the first recorded finding of

May is American Wetlands Month

How often do you think about wetlands?  The answer for many of you will probably be once, maybe, twice a year.  And for a few of you, you’ll have tilted your head and asked – why would I think about wetlands? At the Department of Environmental Protection, we think about wetlands a lot: how much benefit
Image of a river

Getting my feet wet: Starting a new job with DEP

Ah, Spring!  A time to shed the gray cloak of winter, celebrate longer days, and get some fresh air.  In addition to these seasonal changes, I also get the pleasure of starting an exciting new outreach position with Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Image of woman walking dog.

Walking the Poop Loop

Last year, I decided it was time for me to adopt a furry creature. I can honestly say that I was not truly aware of what I was getting into, but bringing Bear into my life was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Eight months later, I am still learning what it
Spotted Salamander

Meet the County critters: Spotted salamanders

What are Salamanders? Salamanders are amphibians like frogs and toads.  Amphibians are cold blooded animals that spend at least part of their life in water.  Unlike frogs and toads, salamanders have tails and teeth on both their upper and lower jaws.
Image of DEP testing water quality

DEP receives recognition from national and local groups

Although the Department of Environmental Protection prefers celebrating the great work of County residents in protecting their environment, we’re going to toot our horn a bit. DEP recently received a national engineering award as well as recognition from a local community group!

Participate in public meetings on 13 proposed environmental bills

On January 28th, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner (District 1) introduced a packet of 13 environmental bills to the County Council. The bills address such issues as the creation of an Office of Sustainability within the Department of Environmental Protection, increasing the use of clean energy, improving the energy efficiency of certain buildings throughout the County, and
Image of algae in a Montgomery County lake.

Algae blooms in Montgomery County

In late August, 2013, a bright green scum became visible on the water surfaces at Lake Needwood and Lake Frank. This is the result of a very dense ‘bloom’ of single-celled plants called algae. This particular algae thrives in hot, dry weather and in waters which have high amounts of nutrients (i.e. fertilizers).
Image of Jamie, a Montgomery County Stream Steward, taking care of an oyster cage.

Oyster gardening

Stream Stewards care about the watershed and help out when they can. I am a Montgomery County Stream Steward as well as an oyster gardener for The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). An oyster gardener is someone who raises oysters from baby spats. This gives them a greater chance for survival when they are placed on

Green practices for property management seminar series

If you’ve ever wanted to make your property greener, but weren’t quite sure how, Montgomery County is hosting a seminar series for you. The Department of Environmental Protection is sponsoring the 1st Annual Green Practices for Property Management seminar series on June 19 and 25th. By attending one or both of the seminars, property owners
Image of the Dennis Avenue stormwater facility. They are regenerative step pools.

Learning lessons as we build green solutions

How does the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) protect our drinking water, properties, streams and the Chesapeake Bay from the harmful effects of stormwater pollution? By using the combined resources and talents of engineers, landscape architects, ecologists, planners and local community members to think of innovative solutions to solving the problem of stormwater pollution. DEP learns