The percentage of commercial land use in our watershed is 20%

Any buildings and parking lots built on land is commercial use. So, commercial use is basically any use that is not for homes or industrial use. For example they are shopping centers, strip malls, movie theaters, bowling alleys, grocery stores, car washes, & restaurants; these are some of the commercial activity’s that take place in our watershed.

The positive impacts of commercial land use are that people have a place to shop, eat, & get together. The negative impacts to the river are pretty bad. Buildings and parking lots don’t let water soak into the ground so when it rains water runs into the river. The water picks up a lot of pollutants as it runs over black top and cement. Rain water is the big source of pollution in the river. Water levels rise (when water runs to the river), eroding the stream banks and putting sediment in the water. Fish and other species gills get clogged (with sediment) so they can't breathe then they die, or get diseases. Also all of the dirt and sediment fills up the water so there is no room for plant’s to grow.

Some Best Management Practices’s are settling ponds, putting in cement or blacktop that lets the water to soak into the ground, making smaller parking lots, building buildings with green roofs or that have rain barrels. Putting vegetated buffers next to the river (like grass or trees, anything that soaks in water). And erosion control, like silt fences to prevent dirt runoff in construction sites. Educate people about what the can do to help. Pick up garbage, because if some garbage is in the street it might be washed into the river.

This is what we have learned about commercial land use and we hope you enjoyed it!