Plants provide many benefits. Not only do they beautify the places where we work and play, but they help to reduce erosion and can even help remove some forms of pollution from soil and groundwater.
However, did you know that plant matter itself can be a form of pollution?
Landscaping activities can greatly impact our local streams, rivers, and the ocean. Excessive organic material in streams and in the ocean leads to increased nitrogen in the water which can tip the balance in favor of algae growth. Algae blooms can cause the death of aquatic life including coral reefs along shorelines because they rob the water of oxygen.
Along with organic waste, chemical pollutants resulting from landscape maintenance activities can be carried away by stormwater runoff and transported to the nearest storm drain and out to the ocean.