Now that fall is here, the Clean Lakes Alliance is urging people to take two steps to keep local lakes clean.

The first step is raking for leaf-free streets. Clean Lakes Alliance Founder and Executive Director James Tye urged people to rake their leaves onto lawns instead of the street.

This, he said, helps fertilize the grass and reduce blue-green algae blooms.

“Leaves contain phosphorus. When left in the street, stormwater passes through leaves like a teabag and brings the phosphorus-rich water into the storm sewer,” he said in a newsletter. “In our watershed, storm sewers deliver untreated water directly to our lakes.”

The other step may not be one people are thinking about just yet, but they will soon enough, with winter quickly approaching– reducing salt use.

“Winter salt runoff into our lakes can be toxic to aquatic plants and animals. Reducing salt use does not need to compromise public safety. By shoveling snow, using sand, and limiting salt use, you can be lake friendly and safe at the same time,” Tye said in his newsletter.

Other ways you can help the lakes at home can be found by visiting the Clean Lakes Alliance website and searching “help the lakes at home.”

These steps include planting native plants, creating a rain garden, picking up pet waste and more.

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