What You Can Do

Our city, county, and state governments are doing what they can to protect our water quality but they can’t do it all.  Many of the remaining problems can only be solved if citizens learn what they can do to be good watershed stewards.  Individuals can make a difference and improve their watershed’s health.  Here are some suggestions!

You Can Help Fish Thrive on Your Property.  This handout has ideas that landowners can use to make their property support native fish populations.

BSWCDcompleteAquaticWeedGuide 1You can be aware of invasive aquatic weeds. Learn how to identify them, what to do about them if you find them and who can help you get rid of them.

Water Weeds, Guide to Aquatic Weeds in Benton County






English ivy (Hedera helix) may conjure up images of cozy, country cottages, but don’t be deceived. This invasive weed can destroy buildings, poison pets, and topple trees.

Click for more information about removing it.







You can plant native plants in your yard. They will require less water.  With the rapidly growing population in the Tualatin Basin water is going to become more and more limited and or more expensive.  By conserving water you help extend the current supply into the future.

Native Plant Finder  from Clean Water Services
Stream Friendly Home and Yard Care from Clean Water Services
Rain Barrel Information from Clean Water Services

You can remove harmful plants.  The shrub, Nandina domestica (Nandina, Sacred Bamboo, or Heavenly Bamboo) kills birds.  If you have it in your yard you may want to replace it with a more bird friendly shrub.  Click hear for more information. 



You can pick up after your pets.  When pet waste washes off your property or dog walking areas, it adds nutrients and bacteria to the nearby streams.  Both are very harmful to the aquatic life in the stream and to the people that come in contact with the water.




image004Don’t feed the ducks and geese.  Feeding them bread is not healthy for them and it causes over population in the area where the feeding is done.  This results in excessive duck and goose waste (poop) in the water and on the shore.  This is very harmful to the aquatic life that should be present in the waterbody.





Conserve water both outside your home and inside your home.  The population and businesses in the Tualatin Basin are increasing very fast.  Both need water to thrive.  By conserving water you help insure that there will be cost effective water in the future.

Conserve Water Outside Your Home from the Regional Water Providers Consortium
Conserve Water Inside Your Home  from the Regional Water Providers Consortium

Properly dispose of all medicines.  Do not dump them down the drain or into the toilet.  With recent advances in the ability to test for very small quantities of drugs, we know that very very small quantities of drugs are in the local waterways like the Tualatin River.  Check with your pharmacy to see if they will take back unused drugs and watch for community events sponsoring drug disposal options.  Certain law enforcement offices are also set up to take back drugs.

Read more about drug take back programs.
Find out where you can drop off unwanted drugs in Oregon.

You can volunteer to remove invasive species and plant native plants in many organized events through the watershed.  Many hands means the work gets done faster.  Native plants provide habitat for native wildlife and if next to the stream, it will help keep the stream cool.  This is very important for the aquatic species that live in the water.