Instead of sending rain runoff from your roof or driveway down storm drains, where it carries washed-off chemicals and other pollutants to lakes and rivers, capture it on site. Besides protecting watersheds, you’ll also be helping recharge groundwater tables that have fallen, in part, because of the increase in impervious surfaces.
Build a rain garden to help intercept runoff that might otherwise go down storm drains, and provide greenery in your landscape without additional watering. Native perennial plants are typically used because of their ability to develop extensive root systems and tolerance of varying moisture conditions.
Rain barrels can also reduce storm-water runoff by capturing it before it has a chance to hit the ground. Rain falling on a roof can be directed through gutters and downspouts to rain barrels, which have a spigots for delivering collected rainwater. You can use this collected rain to water a garden or wash a car, reducing your demands on your household water supply.