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BMPs 101 (Best Management Practices)

Best Management Practices (or BMPs) are great ways to make your property more Environmentally Friendly. There are BMPs to stop erosion or BMPs to treat stormwater. Here are a few BMPs that our Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) can help install on your property. If you want more information on how to install them yourself, check out the DEP's website. Look under Conservation Practices for Homeowners for PDFs on all sorts of BMPs.

Rain/Buffer Garden

Rain / Buffer Gardens are gardens that capture stormwater. The vegetation in these gardens absorbs excess nutrients from stormwater before it can reach the lake. This BMP is normally installed next to impervious surfaces like roofs and driveways or next to shorelines. Buffer gardens also provide critical habitat and food for many species.


Armored Shorelines / Rip Rap are large angular rocks placed on shorelines to reduce erosion from waves and ice. Unfortunately, rip rap doesn't help with stormwater runoff.

Armored Ditch

Ditches are designed to hold and transfer stormwater. When ditches are steep enough for running stormwater to cause erosion, they need to be armored. The rocks slow down the velocity and force of water within the ditch.

Water Bars

Water-Bars are normally seen on hiking trails. They are the diagonally oriented row of rocks dug into the middle of the path. The function is to divert water off paths. The rocks in the path prevent washouts and increase the life of the path.


Turnouts are often seen on the side of roads and paths. Turnouts are channels that move water from ditches into natural vegetated areas.

Erosion Control Mulch

Erosion Control Mulch (ECM) is designed to stabilize bare soils and paths. Standard mulch is 100% vegetation and very buoyant. Rain will cause standard mulch to float and move. ECM has a mixture of dirt, rocks, and bark that doesn’t move easily.

Infiltration Steps

Infiltration Steps are used on steep slopes. These steps are made with 6″x6″ pressure-treated lumber and are secured into the slope with ¾” rebar. The stepping surface of these stairs is a bed of ¾” rock. This allows water to soak into the ground, rather than eroding the surface of the slope.

Infiltration Trenches

Infiltration Trenches are designed to accept runoff from impervious surfaces, like drip-line trenches for buildings. A drip-line trench puts the stormwater rushing off the roof into the ground, dissipating the energy so it doesn't cause erosion. The ¾” rock-filled trench encourages water to drain into the soil rather than over it.

Rubber Razors

Rubber Razors are similar to water bars except that water bars are made with stone and this structure is made with rubber. The flexible rubber allows vehicles to pass over them with ease. You see these structures on driveways and dirt roads.

This path was designed to infiltrate stormwater and keep it out of the lake


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