Scoop the Poop

Scoop the Poop

Scoop the Poop

Pet Waste and Water Quality: It’s Not Just on the Lawn, It’s in Your Water

What is the problem?

Scooping your pooch’s poop isn’t just a courtesy for those walking behind you; it is also the healthy and environmentally sound thing to do. Pet waste can be a significant source of water pollution. When pet waste is not properly disposed, it can be carried by rainwater runoff directly into nearby waterbodies or into storm drains. Storm drains in streets and neighborhoods flow directly to a stream, river, or estuary without any treatment. Untreated animal fecal matter and wastes are a source of harmful bacteria and nutrients in water. Just as we don’t want human sewage in our water, it is important to prevent pet waste from being carried into our waterways because of negligence.

Are you risking your health?
People are at risk of getting sick from drinking or swimming in water contaminated by pet waste. Dogs can be significant hosts of disease causing organisms, including giardia and Salmonella, which are protozoan and bacterial infections transmitted to humans by animals. Our beaches in Virginia Beach have been closed due to bacteria contamination and 60% of the Lynnhaven River is closed to shellfish harvest because of bacterial contamination.

The latest research
The environmental impact of dog waste has gone unrecognized for decades. Scientists recently developed a new lab technique of fingerprinting DNA to match bacteria found in the water to the bacteria from specific animals, including humans and domestic animals. Using this type of forensic science, scientists have found that dogs are a significant contributor of harmful bacteria in our waterways.

Other neighborhood water pollutants
Dog waste is only one of many pollutants from our neighborhoods that add to water pollution. Lawn fertilizers, motor oil, driveway sand and salt, and soapy water from washing cars in driveways commonly end up in our streams, lakes and rivers.

What you can do:You can follow these easy steps to be part of the solution to pet waste contamination.1.  The first step is to always carry a plastic bagwith you when you walk your dog. Re-using an old newspaper delivery bag or plastic grocery bag works well.2.  Using the bag like a glove, you can then pick up the pet waste, turn the bag inside out around the waste, seal the bag, and dispose of it in a trash can. You can also flush un-bagged pet waste down the toilet.3.  Don’t place the bagged or un-bagged pet waste in a storm drain or hose the pet waste towards storm drains as they drain directly to a stream, river, lake or other water body.4.  Cleaning up after your pets in your own yard is as important as cleaning up after them in public places.

Spread the word

Tell friends and neighbors about the effect of animal waste on the environment and our health. Encourage them to clean up after their pets and to dispose of the pet waste properly.

For a printable version of this page, click here.

EVENTS CALENDAR

September 2018

Bird Walk

September 1, 2018
07:30 AM - 09:00 AM
Bird Walk

September 1, 7:30-9am

Enjoy the early morning beauty of Pleasure House Point when the birds are the most active.
We will meet on Marlin Bay Drive at 7:30 AM and enjoy a pleasant ninety-minute walk with a birding expert from the Audubon Society.  These programs are free but we prefer that you preregister with Office@lrnow.org or call our office at 757-962-5398.

Waterway Cleanup

September 8, 2018
09:00 AM - 12:00 PM

September 8th, 9 am - noon - International Coastal Cleanup at Thalia Creek Kayak Launch - This cleanup is a water-based cleanup only. Participants should plan to bring their own kayak and paddling gear. PFDs are required. Some kayaks may be available for use with advance registration. Advanced registration is recommended for final event details. Contact office@lrnow.org to register or for more information.

To register to participate in a waterway cleanup please email office@lrnow.org or call (757) 962-5398

Click on Waterway Cleanups for additional information

Stewardship & Access Committee Meeting

September 19, 2018
06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Committees

This committee meets at 6 pm on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are held at Hot Tuna  at 2817 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23451. November and December meeting schedules may be adjusted to accommodate winter holidays. Check Facebook or website calendar for changes.

 http://www.lynnhavenrivernow.org/get-involved/

Vermiculture Composting Workshop

September 21, 2018
06:30 PM - 08:00 PM

Friday, September 21, 6:30-8:00 PM


Learn about the benefits of vermiculture composting and build your own attractive 2 foot by 4 foot wooden composter. All materials, even your own red wiggler worms, are included.
We will provide tools and instructions for building your own composter during the workshop.

This is a great opportunity. Spaces are limited so sign up today. This workshop is being offered free. It is a $75 value.

To register, call Terri at 757-962-5398 or email Office@LRNow.org. Registration closes on September 14th or when the class is full.

composting workshop

Conversations about Climate Change

September 26, 2018
06:30 PM - 08:00 PM
Events

Two Interesting Speakers


Climate Change and the resulting sea level rise is the most important issue facing our region today. We will pick up our Conversations About Climate Change series with a presentation from Ted Henefin, HRSD General Manager, explaining how the HRSD SWIFT program is putting waste water back into the ground to help with land subsidence. And Elizabeth Andrews, Director, W&M Law School Coastal Policy Center, to help us understand sea level rise from a policy and legal perspective. What tools will our cities need to tackle the challenges ahead?

Please RSVP at Office@LRNow.org for this important and very informative program.

Discover Virginia Beach Nature Hike

September 29, 2018
08:30 AM - 10:30 AM

This September we will be exploring the southern part of our beautiful city! Join us on Saturday, September 29th 8:30am-10.30am for a nature hike on West Neck Creek Trail (2249 North Landing Road). West Neck Creek Natural Area is a wooded 217-acre site located across from the Municipal Center along North Landing Road. This 2 mile hike will be lead by a staff member/tree enthusiast who will identify trees along the trail. You may even find a notable tree that you can nominate here! Following the nature hike, there will be a guided tour of the Whitehurst-Buffington House. “Designated as one of the 50 most historically significant structures in Virginia Beach, the Whitehurst-Buffington House, built in 1793, is truly a house over time”.

This month’s hike will be the 2nd Discover Virginia Beach Series event. Discover Virginia Beach is designed for people to explore Virginia Beach’s natural and historical areas. Mark your calendars –Saturday, October 27th–Guided bike tour through False Cape. We hope you can join us!

To register please e-mail Terri Gorman Terri@lrnow.org or call our office (757) 962-5398