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Don’t Let Your Neighborhood Go to the Dogs!

Posted on November 4, 2016 by | Comments Off

askHRgreen-PetWasteStation-HomepageSlideDon’t let your neighborhood go to the dogs! offers free pet waste stations through a regional grant program. If your Hampton Roads neighborhood/HOA/community association is ready to make scooping the poop a priority, then you’re invited to apply. Pet waste stations encourage residents to pick up after their pets by making it easy and convenient to do so. They are also one small thing a community can do to help keep our local waterways clean.

Scooping the poop is not only important for a clean neighborhood, it’s important for our local waterways. When pet waste is not picked up, it becomes a major source of pollution in our water. Rainwater carries nitrogen and bacteria from pet waste into our storm drains and directly into our rivers, lakes, and streams. This excess nitrogen and bacteria transform the water into a cloudy, green, foul-smelling mess that lacks oxygen and becomes an aquatic dead zone. The same pollution is responsible for beach closures, fishing restrictions and warnings on eating local seafood. Installing a pet waste station is one easy way to combat water pollution in your community.

The grant program is open to any neighborhood, community group, or property management company with the ability to install and maintain the pet waste station. To apply online for a free pet waste station, click here. Supplies are limited, so apply today!

The pet waste station grant program is made possible, in part, by funds generated from the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates. Learn more at

Posted in: Outdoor tips, Pets, Waterways

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Pet Waste Stations Back for Local Grant Program

Posted on April 4, 2016 by | Comments Off is once again accepting applications for free pet waste stations in an effort to reduce bacteria in stormwater runoff. If your neighborhood, HOA or community association is ready to make ‘scooping the poop’ a priority, then you are invited to apply online at

To date, the City of Suffolk has used this regional program to grant 13 stations to neighborhoods across Suffolk. Regionally, more than 200 stations have been installed through the pet waste station grant program. The most recent pet waste station application in Suffolk was received from Suffolk Parks & Recreation for a second pet waste station to install at the new Seaboard Coastline Trail. The first station is located near the Driver entrance of the trail and the new station will be near the center of the trail. “We are getting TONS of usage!” says Helen Gabriel, Assistant Director, Suffolk Parks & Recreation. If pet waste is left on the ground, bacteria will be carried by rainwater to our waterways. Pet waste stations encourage citizens to pick up after their pets by making it easy and convenient to do so. 

Adding another station to the Seaboard Coastline Trail will prevent the overuse of any one station. “The overuse of a pet waste station creates a problem of its own.” says David Keeling, City of Suffolk Environmental Specialist. “Instead of being a benefit, it could become an eyesore and concentrate pollution sources.” 

askHRgreen-PetWasteStation-HomepageSlideSuffolk and other cities and counties will be granting stations to appropriate community associations that meet application requirements such as, emptying the garbage can when full, ensuring pet waste bags or garbage can liners are stocked and available for use, and ordering replacement pet waste bags or garbage can liners in a timely manner.

For more information, apply online at or for Suffolk properties you may call contact Alacia Nixson at 757-514-7073.

This blog contributed by Alacia Nixson, Environmental Technician with Suffolk Public Works.

Posted in: Don't litter!, Keeping storm drains free, Pets, plastic bags, Waterways

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Five Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship with Your Local Waterway

Posted on February 11, 2016 by | Comments Off

happy valentine's! (2)You think being single on Valentine’s Day is bad? 

You don’t know the half of it!

Just imagine spending one day as a creek, stream or river in Hampton Roads. It’s a thankless job and no one ever remembers you on Valentine’s Day. More often than not our waterways don’t get the credit they deserve for all they provide to our region’s 1.7 million residents. Our waterways are responsible for our strong economy and endless recreation opportunities not to mention they are THE defining feature of this unique region! And the residents of Hampton Roads? Well, we can be kind of ungrateful sometimes. Here are five signs to help identify whether you (or someone you know) are in a toxic relationship with your local waterway.

You might be in a toxic relationship if….

  1. You don’t know your watershed. It’s hard to appreciate something when you don’t even know its name! Get on a first name basis with your watershed by using the How’s My Waterway tool to find out what watershed you live in and what underlying health issues your local waterway is experiencing. Think you already know your watershed? Test your knowledge – you might be surprised that your local watershed is not the Chesapeake Bay!
  2. Your use of lawn chemicals is extreme. Lawn chemicals are toxic – you wouldn’t eat them, right? Right! So why are we letting them wash into our rivers where our dinner is swimming? Get your soil tested before applying chemical fertilizers and research natural alternatives to herbicide and pesticide. You should be weighing the pros and cons of applying lawn chemicals each and every time you think about applying them. If you do decide to use lawn chemicals, always follow recommendations on how much and how often to apply. 
  3. You don’t scoop the poop in your own yard. Even if your teacup poodle makes “little” deposits in your private backyard, it’s still important to bag it and trash it. It may not be a public nuisance, but the pet waste will still be carried into local waterways the next time it rains. This is true even if you don’t live directly on a creek or river.
  4. There’s litter or trash in your neighborhood. Restaurant menus, drink bottles, cigarette butts and food wrappers are frequently found accumulating in neighborhoods. While these items are not always intentionally littered, they will still end up in your local creek or river. Litter is not only an eye sore but also a potentially harmful pollutant for fish and wildlife. Take care of your local waterway by picking up trash and litter wherever you see it or forming a neighborhood Adopt-A-Spot group with your community association or civic league.
  5. You use the storm drain as a trash can. Sorry, but there is no storm drain fairy who travels around cleaning out storm drains! In fact, there is no formal treatment process for cleaning up what goes into our storm drains. Trash, litter, household chemicals and other pollutants that people illegally dump into storm drains are carried directly into local waterways. Storm drains can also become clogged with trash, leaves and grass clippings and contribute to flooding. To be a good steward of your local river, make sure only rain goes down the storm drain and dispose of household/yard waste and chemicals through your city or county waste disposal programs.   

You can’t travel far in Hampton Roads without crossing a bridge of some sort and that’s because Hampton Roads is home to the James, York, Nansemond, Elizabeth and Lynnhaven rivers along with countless creeks, streams, and marshes. It’s really very easy for us to do our part to clean them up so keep these waterways in mind on Valentine’s Day….and every day!

Want to give your waterways more love? Become a Bay Star Home now!  

Posted in: Beautification, Holidays, Household tips, Keeping storm drains free, Lawncare, Outdoor tips, Pets, Waterways

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Friday’s Scoop the Poop Pledge Winner is….

Posted on May 23, 2014 by | Comments Off


And today’s winner of the GRAND PRIZE is (drum roll please)…

Patty Downing of Virginia Beach!

Congratulations Patty! (And to your lucky pooch, Ruby  too!) Because Patty took the pledge to scoop the poop to help keep our local waterways clean, she is taking home the grand prize of an gift bag, a five day Dog Daycare Package from Happy Tails Resort, Free Doggie Dips for a month from The Skinny Dip and a Super Duper Pooper Scooper from Elizabeth River Project and River Star Homes!

The prizes may be gone, but scooping the poop is still an important part of having a healthy community and thriving waterways. Help us continue to spread the scoop the poop message by encouraging your friends, family and coworkers to sign the pledge to leave no poop behind.

Special thanks to all those who were involved in the From Rover to River – No Poop Left Behind partnership. In just 4 short days, 545 residents in Hampton Roads pledged to keep Hampton Roads pet waste free – amazing!

Chesapeake Animal Services Unit

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Chesapeake Humane Society

Elizabeth River Project

Heritage Humane Society

Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation

James River Association

Lafayette Wetlands Partnership

Lead Hampton Roads Class of 2014

Lynnhaven River Now

Nansemond River Preservation Alliance

Norfolk Animal Care & Adoption Center

Norfolk SPCA

Peninsula SPCA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Portsmouth Humane Society

Suffolk Humane Society

Virginia Beach Animal Care & Adoption Center

Virginia Beach SPCA

Posted in: Community events, Pets, Waterways

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Thursday’s Scoop the Poop Pledge Winner is…

Posted on May 22, 2014 by | Comments Off

Rover-River-LOGOAnd today’s winner is (drum roll please)…

Jessica Eberts of Virginia Beach!

Congratulations Jessica! (And we should also say congratulations to her dogs Jake & Lily, too!) Because Jessica took the pledge to scoop the poop to help keep our local waterways clean, she is today’s lucky winner of an gift bag, a One-Week Subscription to Doody Calls Pet Waste Removal Service, and a $25 Gift Certificate to Mrs. Bones Bowtique.

If you didn’t win today, there is still one more chance to win great prizes. Just sign up to take the pledge to leave no poop behind and share it with your friends and family members.

We’ll announce our lucky winner grand prize winner on Friday, May 23rd!

Posted in: Community events, Don't litter!, Going Green, Keeping storm drains free, Outdoor tips, Pets

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