How to Help Your Local Waterways

posted: 04/04/18
Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers
Read more Read less
Jeremy looking across the Mississippi in Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Animal Planet/Discovery Communications

Whether dealing with agriculture, industry or urbanization, there's no denying that the world's rivers have suffered pollution as a result of people. But while society may be the underlying cause of such issues, we also hold solutions.

You don't have to be a scientist, millionaire or Jeremy Wade to make a difference. Here is a list of four ways you can help your local waterways.

1. Limit Your Water Usage at Home

Between flushing the toilet, doing the laundry and running the dishwasher, a family of four can use upwards of 400 gallons of water per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While we can't tell you to limit your toilet time, we can advise you on a couple of things. First, make sure your bathroom sink faucet is off while you brush your teeth. That alone will save a couple of gallons of water. Second, don't rush to get your laundry and dishes done - wait until you have full loads before running your washing machine and dishwasher, respectively.

2. Pick Up Your Dog's Waste

There's more to this than just being a good citizen. Leaving your dog's feces on the ground can result in bacteria running off into storm drains and waterways, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

3. Flex Your Green Thumb

Not only is gardening a fun hobby, it's also a great way to help the environment... so long as you plant responsibly. Avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and try composting (it's free and an easy way to provide nutrients to soil). You can also look into using native plants, which will take to local soil more easily and require less upkeep, according to the Wildlife Habitat Council.

4. Get Involved

There are nonprofits and educational organizations all over the world devoted to improving the welfare of our waterways. One such organization, Waterkeeper Alliance, "fights for every community's right to drinkable, fishable, swimmable water." Waterkeeper Alliance also provides resources for volunteering and getting individuals involved in outreach within their own communities.

Our faithful fishing fans can also look toward initiatives geared toward helping fish and other aquatic species. While World Fish Migration Day is officially April 21, the World Fish Migration Foundation works year-round to increase healthy migratory fish populations and encourage the development of free-flowing streams and rivers. You can learn about their programs and support opportunities on the foundation's official website.

show more details
Celebrating World Fish Migration Day
For more on the rivers featured in Jeremy Wade's Mighty Rivers, visit the following websites:

Danube (Episode Premiere: April 29)
WWF in Central and Eastern Europe

Rewilding Europe

Mississippi (Episode Premiere: April 22)
The Nature Conservancy

Friends of the Mississippi

Amazon (Episode Premiere: May 6)
Amazon Watch

WWF's Amazon River campaign

Yangtze (Episode Premiere: April 15)
WWF's Yangtze River campaign

WWF campaign for finless porpoise conservation

Ganges (Episode Premiere: April 8)
WWF's Ganges River campaign

Eco Friends

Zambezi (Episode Premiere: May 13)
International Rivers

African Wildlife Foundation