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Friends of the Rappahannock says less fertilizer means more crabs to eat.
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The bay's blue crabs are on the rebound after several years of dismal harvests, which prompted fisheries management agencies in Maryland and Virginia to limit the catch. A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the bay's crab population is healthy, but that female crabs continue to need protection.
FOR's message about crabs and fertilizer is one of several educational programs.
Its Livable Neighborhood Water Stewardship Program teaches homeowners and residents' associations practical methods to reduce pollution flowing into nearby streams.
Another program conducts workshops to build rain barrels, which can save about 1,300 gallons of water a month during the hottest part of summer. FOR's peer programs teach kids the importance of water resources, and why they should be protected.
FOR is using a state grant to buy equipment to expand its initiative to create rain gardens--gravel-filled basins to catch storm runoff water--on residential lots.
Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Riverfest is Friends of the Rappahannock's major annual fundraiser. The benefit and auction this year is 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at Farley Vale Farm in King George County.
For more information, call 373-3448 or visit river friends.org.
Fertilize in the fall. This provides the most benefit, and reduces runoff during the warmer months when rivers are most sensitive to algae blooms from excess nutrients. Use only the recommended amount of fertilizer. Aerate soil--an easy way to help a lawn, without chemicals. Get soil tested to determine the exact amount and type of fertilizer to put on your lawn.
--Friends of the Rappahannock