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Stop the Destruction of Our Waterways & Help Take Down Roundup
Beautiful green lawns can coexist with cleaner water, thriving marine life, and healthier communities

Please join with us to inform your town or city about the harms of fertilizer pollution on Massachusetts’s waterways.

Throughout Massachusetts, our bodies of water are being polluted with nutrients causing the degradation of water quality and the destruction of wildlife.

The goal of ORI’s Clean Water Project is to stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. Let’s restore and preserve healthy waterways.

We are calling for modifications of lawn care practices on established lawns. Limit fertilizer use to no more than a half pound of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer a year.

We are also developing educational materials that explains responsible sustainable lawn care. For example, when grass cuttings are left on the lawn, it amounts to the equivalent of one pound of fertilizer per year. Our goal is for all 351 municipalities in Massachusetts to improve their lawn care practices to have both clean water and healthy lawns that don’t pollute. 


Falmouth, MA, has modified their lawn care, reducing greatly fertilizer application in 2012 in response to discovering sixteen striped bass, a horseshoe crab and an unidentified crab dead in Little Pond. (“Poor Water Quality Suspected in Death of Fish at Little Pond”)

Six years later, Falmouth’s lawns are just as green as in neighboring towns proving that their fertilizer bylaw has not harmed the grass. Here, green lawns coexist with cleaner water and healthy marine life. There has not been another fish kill.

Let us follow Falmouth’s lead and enact sustainable lawn care laws that stop nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of our waterways and groundwater.

West Monponsett Pond (left) covered in toxic algal blooms in August 2015. Credit: Ted Broderick

Please join with us to inform your town or city about the fatal harms of the herbicide Roundup. 

Roundup is a widely used herbicide that has harmful human health and environmental effects. Glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, is a known carcinogen and has also been linked to hormone disruption and antibiotics resistance. Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, was recently ordered to receive $289 million from Monsanto (the maker of Roundup) after Johnson developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of using Roundup.

Roundup, technically the chemical glyphosate, has been found everywhere! It’s in our environment; it’s in rainwater, streams and on down into the ocean. It’s in the food that we eat, found in soy and other produce. Most alarming is that Roundup is found in people and concentration levels are rising. (A Weed Killer Is Increasingly Showing Up in People’s Bodies.)

Let’s stop using Roundup.

There are alternative herbicides that are much safer and will not bio-accumulate in our bodies. We’ve got a recipe that you may make at home with vinegar, salt and dish soap. Pulling weeds, weed-whacking, and mulching kills weeds faster than herbicides. For more information, check out our page on Roundup Alternatives

In response to our presentation, Arlington Conservation Commission took action. Read about it in YourArlington: Arlington Con Com modifies wetland permits for lawn-care practices.

Join us in asking for better lawn care practices. 

Act today by writing to your favorite Massachusetts municipality. 

Pledge here to change your lawn care and stop nitrogen pollution

Take a significant step for cleaner water, less algal blooms, by making a modest donation in support of ORI’s Clean Water Project.

Where We're Working On This
Stop the Destruction of Our Waterways & Help Take Down Roundup. See where we're actively working on this.

How You Can Help
The Ocean River Institute provides individuals around the world with specific opportunities to make a difference saving wildlife, protecting ecosystems, in environmental education, science, and conservation.