· Yard waste and plant debris should not be placed on the banks or in the creek. Excess nutrients helps lawns be green, but is bad for creeks. When normal nutrient levels are too high, noxious green algae develops. As the excess nutrients are broken down, oxygen is depleted, which is bad for aquatic creatures such as fish, crayfish and turtles. Consider composting in a corner of your property, or leave it by the street for DeKalb County Sanitation to pick up.
· Do not leave loose yard debris in the gutter; and don’t rake or blow debris down a storm drain. With the next rain, this material is washed into the creek. This increases the nutrients as mentioned above.
· Please leave a buffer of trees and shrubs near the creek. This buffer will filter the runoff from your yard. Grass planted up to the edge of the creek allows too many nutrients to enter the creek. Grass is not a good bank stabilizer. Trees and shrubs have deeper roots and will help in the next flood to prevent the bank eroding.
· Use fertilizer sparingly and carefully. Too many nutrients will cause noxious green algae and deplete oxygen needed for the fish and aquatic life.
· Stream bank stabilization is complicated. Boulders will stabilize the bank, but will increase erosion downstream by allowing the water to speed up as it runs past the boulders.
· Control soil from entering the creek. Soil, silt and sediment is considered a pollutant. Do not disturb the soil within 25 feet of the creek bank. Put down straw on any soil disturbed to prevent erosion. Silt dissolved in the water acts like sand paper, causing stream banks downstream to be destroyed. Heavily silted water also makes it difficult for fish and other aquatic creatures to survive.
· Do not dump toxic material in the driveway or street, all street run off goes to the storm drain and leads to the creek!
· Slow water from entering the creek. The more rapidly water enters the creek, the more damage it can do, leading to flooding downstream, and stream bank destabilization. Consider creating a rain garden, or using a rain barrel. Both actions reduce how much water enters the creek.
· Try to avoid planting invasive species. Invasive specie's seeds that enter the creek affect all communities downstream, reducing the health of communities. Consider planting species not on the list of dangerous invasive species. Consider planting native species or non invasive species.
Do not release home pets or fish into the creek.