Goal: To provide a tool that will help people landscape in a way that is low-maintenance, low-cost, and low-impact on the environment.
From sprinkler to storm drain, from bayou to bay, the water used to maintain your yard remains untreated. What you do to your lawn and what runs off your yard determines the health of Galveston Bay. If you think your contribution to water pollution is insignificant, add your runoff to that of your neighbors and combine that with the rest of the Galveston Bay watershed. The result is runoff pollution – the number one source of water pollution in most of our bayous.
Unfortunately many homeowners continue to damage our water by adding more fertilizer and pesticides than warranted. During rainfall or over-watering, excess fertilizer and pesticides run untreated directly into our bays and bayous. Every year algae blooms from excess fertilizer remove precious oxygen from our water resulting in fish kills. Many pesticides are toxic to aquatic life and they may also accumulate in the food chain. It is best to be prudent in their use, or perhaps not use them at all.
Certain varieties of plants are suited to the Upper Texas Gulf Coast Area and thus require less water and fewer fertilizers and pesticides. Many plants are native to this area and have been thriving here for centuries. Other non-native plants and heirloom varieties have been successfully adapted to the Gulf Coast. WaterSmart landscapes are planted with native and adapted non-invasive plants. These plants are well suited to our climate and soil conditions; therefore, they require less watering once they are established and do not need chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides to thrive. WaterSmart landscapes can result in a 90% reduction in the amount of polluted runoff entering the storm drain system and an equal reduction in the volume of water used for irrigation. As an added feature, native plants attract wildlife such as birds and butterflies to our landscapes.
A WaterSmart yard utilizes plants and practices that require less water plus little or no fertilizers and pesticides. With minimal grass cover and maximum use of native and adapted plants, the WaterSmart landscape is beautiful and easy to maintain and environmentally friendly. By converting your lawn one section at a time you can create a landscape that helps preserve the bay area and gradually reduces your maintenance time.